Posted on May 07, 2020
One more bastion of free speech and information, ABS-CBN, has been forced to close down, amidst the public health crisis of COVID-19.
While other broadcast and social media still operate, President Rodrigo Duterte has forced the shutdown of a far-reaching channel of communication to the provinces and island communities. And he has foisted the insidious threat of closure hanging over other media outlets.
Duterte and his gang can no longer hide in the questionable cover of legal technicalities. He and his political and economic cronies are hell-bent on incorporating ABS-CBN and other digital telecommunication platforms in their grab for power.
While citizens are struggling to survive the COVID-19 pandemic, Duterte cohorts maneuver from behind, trample on free speech, bad-mouth critics, and rule with authoritarian fists.
INCITEGov, alongside all democracy defenders, demands that ABS-CBN be immediately returned to the airwaves and be allowed to continue working with the government and the private sector in this crucial time of fighting COVID-19, and more so in our nation's recovery.
INCITEGov calls on all Filipinos to defend not just ABS-CBN but all independent media, big and small, from closure. By keeping open and within reach, these media networks can then serve us, Filipino citizens, to safeguard our right to information and uphold our freedom of speech.
Without these democratic rights, Filipinos may wake up in a not so distant day, with just state-controlled channels dishing out propaganda on the airwaves.
In the looming face of another oppressive authoritarian regime, INCITEGov shouts: Never Again!
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