Responses to “On ABS-CBN’s closure” by Jose Hortelano
READER’S VIEWS (The Freeman) - August 10, 2020 - 12:00am

I am writing to express my disagreement with an opinion piece/letter sent by one of your readers, Mr. Jose Hortelano, that came out in The FREEMAN today, August 5.

While it is true that a broadcast network cannot operate without a franchise, Mr. Hortelano seemed to have forgotten that Pres. Duterte had repeatedly threatened to kill ABS-CBN’s franchise since 2017, and that Congress was VERY MUCH on board with this plan since our lawmakers decidedly sat on ABS-CBN’s franchise application FOR YEARS despite numerous franchise bills.

I would also like to remind Mr. Hortelano that while the NTC issued a cease and desist order to ABS-CBN last May, NTC had traditionally allowed other media companies to continue operating with an expired franchise, or while their franchise application was pending in Congress. By ordering ABS-CBN’s shutdown and succumbing to OSG Calida’s bullying, NTC defied its own customary practice and denied ABS-CBN equal protection of the law.

Mr. Hortelano’s declaration that “ABS-CBN had committed an act against the law” just because the network apologized for failing to air Duterte’s political ad in 2016 is simply reductive and disingenuous. If he had done some research, he would have known that ABS-CBN also failed to air the ads of other candidates across different political parties. There is no “bias” there.

I would like to advise Mr. Hortelano to read up some more on the ABS-CBN franchise issue in order to make better opinions about it.

Nicole Bacaron

* * *

Dear Mr. Hortelano,

I am writing in reaction to your “On ABS-CBN’s closure” piece in The FREEMAN posted last August 5.

I would like to respectfully tell you that I think anyone who believes that Presiderte had nothing to do with the denial of ABS-CBN's franchise application is simply naive or poorly researched. Of course he had everything to do with it.

Duterte consistently brags about being a champion of ordinary people, but did nothing to save the livelihood of 11,000 workers. His supposedly “neutral" stance on the franchise issue just shows he would rather be seen as the winner in his spat against ABS-CBN instead of saving jobs in the midst of a pandemic.

ABS-CBN did not apologize to the President at the Senate hearing because it committed a crime. ABS-CBN apologized for having supposedly hurt the President's feelings, not because it failed to air Duterte's political ads --- which is not illegal! If ABS-CBN actually committed a crime by failing to air the ad, why hasn't the President's team filed a case in court against ABS-CBN?

I am also confused by your boy-with-slingshot analogy. If the neighbor did not accept the boy and his parent’s apology, what would he have done? Would he have the boy arrested? I do not follow. In that case, the best and most decent thing for the neighbor to do is accept the boy’s apology—because like you said, it was an accident—and allow the boy to make amends for his mistake. That's why ABS-CBN should have been granted a franchise and allowed to continue to exist so it can improve its services. ABS-CBN did not deserve to be "killed."

Good day,

Coleen Ellistel Diaz

  • Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
Login is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with