BY MICHAEL JUGADO
WHY now when the country is in the midst of a deadly pandemic?
This was the gist of statements issued by UAAP schools as they weighed in on the controversial shutdown of ABS-CBN, the league’s broadcast partner.
ABS-CBN ordered by the National Telecommunications Commission to shut down last Tuesday.
Season 82 host Ateneo said NTC’s decision “deprived the Filipino people of a vital source of information, entertainment, and public service.”
“Filipinos need ABS-CBN now, especially now during these urgent times of the pandemic, when the information provided by our country’s broadcast journalists spells the difference between life and death for our citizens, most of whom still get their news from television and radio,” Ateneo president Fr. Jet Villarin, SJ, said in a statement.
“ABS-CBN’s closure extinguishes the brightest light in our information firmament and leaves the smaller ones in darkness and peril. We urge our lawmakers to act post-haste to approve the ABS-CBN franchise and restore its broadcast.”
La Salle showed it support to ABS by lighting up its main building on Taft Avenue with the 65-year-old firm’s colors— red, green, and blue.
Complying with NTC’s order, ABS-CBN went off air at around 8 p.m. last Tuesday. Its franchise expired last May 4 after Congress failed to pass a law that will renew its franchise.
University of Santo Tomas also lamented the decision of NTC, saying: “The Pontifical and Royal University of Santo Tomas laments the order to stop ABS-CBN from continuing its broadcast operations, as it is a clear disservice to the Filipino people, in time of the pandemic, when information, delivered fast and wide, is key to saving lives.”
For Far Eastern University said the NTC decision is a big blow to the company’s 11,000 employees.
“In the face of a public health crisis, the unemployment of the network’s employees aggravates their economic and health situations as well as those of their families. They need a government that understands their plight,” said FEU in a statement through its Department of Communication.
“Advocating the mantra, ‘May alam, May pakialam’, FEU urged the ABS-CBN management, media workers, and the public to resist all forms of oppression by seeking and supporting lawful actions to resolve the issues.”