Nation won’t perish without ABS-CBN
WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus B. Jimenez (The Freeman) - February 27, 2020 - 12:00am

With due respect to all my friends and relatives who believe that the problem confronting the ABS-CBN is one that involves a grave and imminent danger to the peoples' freedom of speech and expression, I beg to disagree, and I will hold on to this stand even if I stand alone.

With due respect too to Senator Frank Drilon, a solon I hold in high esteem, and  a former colleague of mine  in DOLE, and a PMAP fellow former national officer, who filed a resolution asking for approval of a probationary permit to ABS-CBN, pending Congress action on its application for a franchise renewal, I am sorry that I do not believe in the merit of such a resolution. Also, with due respect to Congressman Ed del Mar, one of the few members of Congress whom I truly admire. Nonetheless, I am perhaps one of the few Cebuanos who do not share in the supposed merit of his proposal for a House resolution for the same purpose.

I am an ardent follower of FPJ Ang Probinsyano, and an avid fan of ANC for its news reports. But I do believe sincerely that this network is not indispensable to national interests, contrary to the others' convictions. Freedom of speech, freedom of expression and all the civil liberties will remain undiminished if and when ABS goes out of the air. The nation will not die without Showtime. Such high-caliber talents as Karen Davila and Ted Failon will find another network to work in because their talents are not for ABS-CBN only. Atom Araullo is now in Channel 7. As Mel Tiangco and many others. They are versatile and highly “piratable” if I may use that word.

The problem of ABS-CBN is just a simple matter of renewing a franchise. If it has all the qualifications and none of the disqualifications, why is there too much ado about it? If it has a violation or violations, then it should accept the appropriate sanctions appurtenant to its offenses. ABS-CBN is not a big deal. If it fails to renew, there is GMA and a number of other networks. Let us not join the fray and be distracted by ABS-CBN's anxieties. They are not our anxieties. Its officials and personnel should not blow up its predicament into a national issue. The country has a myriad of huge problems, viruses, terrorism, insurgency and poverty. Let us focus on what is truly important. No network is indispensable.

ABS is a wealthy business giant. It is well-connected and highly-influential. It has a number of allies in the Senate. There’s Senators Grace Poe (whose late dad's Ang Probinsyano reportedly continues to rake in billions), Pangilinan (whose wife is a talent of the network), Recto (whose wife has had long-term links with ABS), Angara (whose wife is allegedly working there), Zubiri (who admitted over national TV that he is related to Mr. Katigbak of ABS), and senators whose law firms were allegedly lawyering for ABS. Well, if they have delicadeza, they should inhibit from participation. The same is true to Buhay party list representative Lito Atienza in the House, because Kuya Kim, his son, is an ABS-CBN mainstay. How can these honorable men be truly objective?

The apology to the president was too late and too vague. It was also lacking in spontaneity and candor. At the very least, they have admitted. The expose made by Senator Bong Go was a big slap in the faces of the network's top honchos. They were saying all along that the network did nothing wrong. Now they are  apologizing. Falsus in unos, falsus in omnibus?

josephusbjimenez@gmail.com

ABS-CBN
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