NOTHING, it seems, can stop President Duterte from closing down the ABS-CBN network by denying the renewal of its 25-year-old franchise which ends in March next year. Since he started berating the nation’s largest TV and radio network three years ago he didn’t seem to care about the fate of its more than 2,000 employees. Since the President’s double-talk on contractualization had ultimately buried the major campaign pledge, he has so far removed the mask that tried to hide his apathy for the country’s workers, making it easy for him to consign the employees of ABS-CBN as similar objects of his disdain for then chairman Gabby Lopez Jr. and his officers.
It may have been an undoubtedly wise business decision of Lopez if he had tried to mend fences with an incensed President instead of brushing aside his threats. The President’s frequent attacks on ABS-CBN have debunked speculations that he may yet change his mind. House Speaker Alan Cayetano has, however, assured that the House of Representatives will be “very fair” in deciding whether or not to renew its franchise. How essential would the errant presidential whim be against a major broadcast network that refuses to go down on its knees before the Chief Executive in the upcoming the House deliberations on the issue?
There are seasoned and respected media news anchors and commentators at ABS-CBN who will be forced to farm out to other leading TV and radio networks when their network ceases operations. And during their waning years, Mr. Duterte and his administration will reap a vicious and endless barrage from their broadcasts likely spanning the whole archipelago. If he thinks that any media onslaught will not affect the people’s pulse in his favor, he would have to think again.
Indeed, the possible closure of the country’s pioneering broadcast network is indisputably an affront to the rest of the media entities and corporations nationwide. The Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) should make a strong stand against this tyrannical subjugation of the media’s democratic rights. The essential nature of self-regulation on which the KBP was founded should drive its leadership to assert its fearsome power and its members’ independence against government intervention and defend ABS-CBN and its franchise at all cost. It should spearhead a determined move rallying the broadcast industry.
Not a lot of people, including Christian pastors, are impressed with Ron Jaworski’s mission of Biblical deliverance and healing. The youngest son of former senator and basketball legend Robert “Sonny” Jaworski has embarked on a healing crusade of sorts, going from town to town in Luzon and the Visayas. Members from various religious sets have flocked to his “meetings,” coming away healed from their serious diseases. He half embraces the controversial Pentecostal belief on the assured healing power of the Holy Spirit.
Witnesses say almost a hundred have been healed during the younger Jaworski’s preaching, finally opening their eyes that miracles and healings were not things of the past as many priests and pastors teach. But Ron points to what the great Christian writer, C.S.
Lewis, calls the “greatest miracle” of all time that took place during the first Christmas: “In the Christian story, God descends to re-ascend. He comes down from the heights of absolute being into time and space, down into humanity; down further still, if embryologists are right, to recapitulate in the womb and pre-human phases of life; down to the very roots and sea-bed of the Nature He has created. Every other miracle prepares for this, or exhibits this, or results from this.”