#NoToABSCBNShutdown: NUJP aims to gather 1M signatures for ABS-CBN franchise renewal

  • The NUJP ran an on-ground and online signature campaign for ABS-CBN franchise renewal
  • The organization called the revocation a supreme undemocratic act
  • They also revealed why they are dismayed over Cayetano

ABS-CBN struggles to renew its franchise as the “non-airing of TV ads” by presidential candidate and now President Duterte created issues with the country’s highest leader. Duterte even suggested to just sell the network.

Image via Change.org

Barely 3 months before the expiration ending on March 30, the NUJP or National Union of Journalists in the Philippines created an on-ground and online signature campaign asking Congress to renew the network’s franchise. Friday evening, the organization collected 83 signatures during their petition signing at the #NoToABSCBNShutdown protest held at the Boy Scout Circle in Quezon City.

In their online campaign at Change.org titled “1M signatures for ABS-CBN franchise renewal”, NUJP stated, “The revocation of the network’s franchise is proof that this government, in a supremely undemocratic act, is out to silence a media outfit because of the animosity of one man, the president of the Republic.”

They also expressed disappointment over Cayetano who was Duterte’s running mate in the previous presidential elections and supposedly should lead the deliberation but also admitted that he had the same sentiments for not airing some of his ads during the 2016 elections.

The NUJP addressed to him, “We continue to hope that you, the elected representatives of the people, can rise above your leader’s petty vindictiveness and strike a blow in defense of freedom of the press and of expression.“

Image via Maricar Serrano | Facebook

They expect only the president to bear full responsibility for his actions whether he will pass the bill to renew the franchise or veto it if he wants to. The organization emphasized, “Do not be accomplices in the rape of democracy.”

The online campaign currently has almost 60,000 signatures. Majority of those who supported cited that they fear the small workers will be losing their jobs with the shutdown. According to Defend Job Philippines, the leading network has 6,730 regular employees, 900 non-regular workers and more than 3,325 talents in 2018.

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