Daniel Halliday
May 13 · Last update 13 days ago.

What’s behind the closure of Philippine broadcaster ABS-CBN?

The Philippine’s oldest and biggest news broadcaster, ABS-CBN, was watched by millions daily until the network was forced to stop broadcasting on 5th May 2020 following a failure to renew its broadcasting licence. Broadcasting networks in the Philippines require congressional franchise to operate television or radio station in the form of a 25-year licence. ABS-CBN had been operating since 1946, apart from being forced off air from 1972-1986 under martial law declared by the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos. The Philippines has been ranked amongst the most dangerous countries for journalists, but what is behind the closure of this whole news and media network? aljazeera.com/news/2020/05/philippines-largest-tv-network-abs-cbn-ordered-shut-200505084440098.html washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/philippines-orders-its-largest-broadcaster-off-the-air-as-nation-fights-virus/2020/05/05/3d172b60-8eb4-11ea-9322-a29e75effc93_story.html
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The broadcaster’s numerous infringements
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The broadcaster’s numerous infringements

Despite the media reporting this as Rodrigo Duterte’s clandestine subversion of the Philippine’s media, ABS-CBN have been denied the right to broadcast based on allegations of violating the constitutional ban on foreign ownership of media organisations, and failing to broadcast or refund Duterte’s 2016 advertisement campaign. Both President Duterte and the Congress of the Philippines are perfectly in their right to do this, special rights are written into the broadcaster’s 1995 franchise agreement allowing the president to operate or suspend the network in times of war, rebellion, public peril, calamity, emergency or disaster. According to the conditions stipulated in ABS-CBN’s 1995 franchise renewal Duterte would still be legally allowed to commandeer or ban ABS-CBN from broadcasting, this controversy is therefore overblown.

msn.com/en-us/news/world/philippines-forces-top-media-network-off-air/ar-BB13CmPx congress.gov.ph/legisdocs/basic_16/HB04997.pdf rappler.com/newsbreak/iq/249550-timeline-duterte-against-abs-cbn-franchise-renewal

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Daniel Halliday
May 13