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Statement of Sec. Sal Panelo on ABSCBN franchise issue

Sec. Sal Panelo on ABSCBN Franchise Issue – In a recent interview, the Presidential Spokesperson said that the issue of franchise renewal has nothing to do with press freedom.

One of the points that the Kapamilya network and its supporters are stressing out with regards to the franchise renewal issue is the allegation that it will suppress the freedom of expression or the freedom of the press.

Panelo on ABSCBN franchise
screenshot from ANC video

Undoubtedly, ABS-CBN is one of the biggest media company in the Philippines. For more than six decades now, it has been a part of many Filipino lives, not just in the Philippines but also abroad.

Amid the threat in the network’s franchise – whether it will be renewed or not – those who are supporting ABS-CBN believe that shutting down the network would mean a violation of the press freedom.

In line with this matter, Sec. Panelo contradicted this belief during a recent interview on Karen Davila’s program on ANC. “Pagpalagay natin mawala ang ABS-CBN, are you telling me, namatay na ang freedom of expression, of the press? Ang daming networks, ang daming radyo, nandiyan pa rin,” he said.

panelo on ABSCBN franchise
screenshot from ANC video

He added that ABS-CBN could easily find ways. “Kadali namang gawan ng paraan niyan eh, ibenta mo lang, pagkatapos, ikaw rin pala ang may hawak,” Panelo said. In the latter part of the interview regarding the franchise issue, Karen Davila said that it would be “curtailing”. This received an answer from the Secretary asking the host, “where’s the curtailing there?”

Panelo said that if the network “violates the probation of law and that will be the result of the violation, how can that be?” The Secretary also said that the quo warranto does not touch the right of the network to criticize, to make editorials. “So, ano ang connection ng freedom of expression, ng freedom of the press, eh di wala,” he said during the interview.

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