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NTC order vs ABS-CBN a transgression of freedom of speech and expression –Gordon

By Mario Casayuran

Senator Richard J. Gordon said today the government’s order to the ABS-CBN network to stop operations is a transgression of the freedom of speech and expression.

Senator Richard Gordon (ALI VICOY / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

Senator Richard Gordon
(ALI VICOY / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

‘’To begin with, it infringes on the authority of the Legislative branch of government, which is already in the process of deliberating the franchise,’’ Gordon, chairman of the Senate Blue Ribbon committee, explained.

The Senate awaits the decision of the House of Representatives on the petition of the giant ABS-CBN network for an extension of its franchise.

Gordon, chairman of the Philippine Red Cross (PRC), lamented that the decision of the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) for the ABS-CBN to ‘’cease and desist’’ comes at a time when it has never been more important for government and media to be allies, not adversaries.

‘’During this (coronavirus disease or COVID-19) pandemic that continues to threaten our country, our people, and our economy, we need to be sending out vital lifesaving information to our people on a daily basis, something that mass media is in the best position to help us with,’’ he said.

If there was a violation of the franchise agreement on the part of ABS-CBN, then the proper charges must be filed and it will be up to the judicial branch of government to decide and, if it so pleases, to impose a very substantial fine, he said.

‘’Freedom of expression is sacrosanct and is what keeps democracy alive and thriving. It is a right that every government must respect and never obstruct,’’ he added.


Source: Manila Bulletin (https://news.mb.com.ph/2020/05/06/ntc-order-vs-abs-cbn-a-transgression-of-freedom-of-speech-and-expression-gordon/)

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