March 1, 2020 (3:34 PM)

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Journalists, community organizations, and ABS-CBN Southern Mindanao employees held a Black Friday protest against the disenfranchisement of ABS-CBN and as a stand for press freedom yesterday at ABS-CBN Davao, Shrine Hills, Davao City last February 28. Photo by Jeni Anne Rosario

Media and progressive organizations took to the street their dismay over the issue of ABS-CBN franchise renewal by holding a “Black Friday Protest” and candle-lighting in front of the ABS-CBN Davao Region Broadcasting Complex, Shrine Hills, Matina last February 28.

Representatives of media organizations such as National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP), Altermidya Davao, International Association of Women in Radio and Television (AIWRT), College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP) alongside progressive groups Bayan Muna and Kilusang Mayo Uno-Southern Mindanao Region (KMU-SMR) expressed their disapproval to the quo warranto case filed by Solicitor General Jose Calida against the said media corporation.

“IAWRT stands in solidarity with ABS-CBN amid the threats to its very existence. IAWRT calls on the Philippine Congress to uphold press freedom by renewing the franchise of ABS-CBN,” Margarita Valle read her organization’s statement on the said issue.

“We believe that muzzling the press is a great violation of the Filipino people’s fundamental rights to freedom of information and therefore must be allowed to happen,” the statement further read.

Representing Bayan Muna, Abdul Rauf Sissay said that the issue on ABS-CBN franchise renewal is a manifestation of violation against press freedom in the country.

“Kung atoang pansinon ang mga balita, kung atoang tan-awon ug tukion ang kahimtang karon sa press freedom dinhi sa atong nasud sukad sa paglingkod sa administrasyon ni President Duterte, nakita nato nga nagkaanam na’g kawala ang atoang freedom, ang atoang kagawasan sa pagpamahayag sa atoang mga kaugalingon og pag-forward sa atoang mga panawagan sa mga lain-laing mga isyu,” Sissay noted.

“Samtang kita nagapahigayon og gamayng programa dinhi sa atubangan sa station sa ABS-CBN sa Southern Mindanao isip pagduyog sa mga empleyado na posibleng mawad-an sa ilahang trabaho kung dili ma-renew ang franchise sa ABS-CBN, nagapahigayon usab ang atong mga kauban na miyembro sa National Union of Journalists of the Philippines sa Zamboanga City, Cagayan de Oro City, General Santos City, Surigao City, apil na usab sa Bacolod City, Iloilo City, Sorsogon [City] ug candle-lighting and concert event,” the representative of NUJP said during the protest.

Black Friday Protest started a few weeks ago with less than 10 people attending a rally on Esguerra St. in front of the ABS-CBN gate. 

The event sought to gather the corporation’s employees in supporting the media company’s renewal of franchise. Moreover, the group also conducted a signature campaign, which will be presented to the Congress to expedite the renewal of said franchise.

A few weeks after, the protest grew from 10 individuals to 7000, including ABS-CBN’s employees as well as support groups from local and international settings.

Simultaneous with the mass going on inside the ABS-CBN Broadcast Complex, some employees and members of media and progressive groups held a candle-lighting event to express their solidarity with ABS-CBN.



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