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ABS-CBN shutdown robs ordinary Filipinos source of information, entertainment â urban poor group
This view shows the ABS-CBN network headquarters in Quezon City in the Metro Manila area on May 5, 2020.
AFP/Maria Tan

ABS-CBN shutdown robs ordinary Filipinos source of information, entertainment — urban poor group

Gaea Katreena Cabico (Philstar.com) - May 8, 2020 - 1:19pm

MANILA, Philippines — The government-ordered closure of the country’s top broadcaster ABS-CBN would deprive ordinary Filipinos of access to important information at a time when the country battles the spread of the new coronavirus, an urban poor organization said.

ABS-CBN shut down its main television and radio channels Tuesday night after the National Telecommunications Commission issued a cease and desist order over an expired operating franchise.

Two days after ABS-CBN’s television and radio operations were halted, the network’s flagship newcast “TV Patrol returned online. But internet connections and gadgets are unreachable luxuries for millions of Filipinos.

“Sa isang iglap, mistulang ninakawan ang mga ordinaryong Pilipino—lalo na kaming mga maralitang tagalungsod na karamihan ay walang akses sa internet—ng mapagkukunan ng balita, impormasyon at libreng libangan na napakahalaga lalo na ngayong panahon ng enhanced community quarantine,” Urban Poor Action Committee said in a statement.

(In a snap, it seems that ordinary Filipinos—especially urban poor communities without access to internet—have been robbed of a source of news, information and entertainment especially when enhanced community quarantine is enforced.)

In an earlier statement, OFW group Migrante International said that tens of millions in the provinces and many more overseas will also lose access to essential information.

Rights groups and media organizations earlier emphasized that access to credible information is crucial in addressing the spread of the virus that has already infected 10,343 people in the country.

Partner of poor communities

The organization of urban poor communities also said that ABS-CBN projected the stories of the impoverished and helped them advance their rights.

“Sa pagpapasara ng ABS-CBN, nawalan din ng katuwang ang mga maralitang tagalungsod sa pagsubaybay at pag-uulat ng mga isyung nakakaapekto sa mga mahihirap sa ating lungsod—mararahas na ebiksyon at demolisyon, kakulangan ng hanapbuhay, ang madugong giyera kontra droga, at iba pa,” the group said.

(With the shutdown of ABS-CBN, the urban poor communities lost a partner in monitoring and reporting the issues that affect urban poor—violent evictions and demolitions, loss of livelihood and bloody war on drugs and others.)

 “Sa pamamagitan ng pagtalakay ng mga ito sa kanilang mga programa, nabigyan ng pagkakataon ang mga inaapi at inaabuso na marinig ang kanilang mga tinig,” it added.

(As they discuss our plights in their programs, the oppressed and the abused are given opportunity to be heard.)

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