RPRD Statement on ABS-CBN Shutdown

The Ramento Project for Rights Defenders strongly condemns the actions of the Philippine government that forced the ABS-CBN, among the biggest media networks in the Philippines, to go off the air.

Against protest from some lawmakers and the counsel of the Department of Justice itself, the National Telecommunications Commission chose to issue a cease-and-desist order to ABS-CBN, resulting in its indefinite signing off before 8 pm on May 5.

By no means has ABS-CBN been perfect, but it has also exerted an effort to give a voice to some of the most vulnerable and oppressed sectors in society. It told the nation various narratives that caused meaningful discussions and policy changes. It provided work opportunities for thousands of Filipinos in different parts of the nation.

We join the millions who revolt against this great scandal, which reflects our government’s vengefulness against those who attempt to chronicle and speak of its misdeeds; and this administration’s insensitivity, ineptness and lack of reason. This historic dead air is an attack on press freedom, on the right of Filipinos to be employed, on the very life of our democracy.

Let us continue to defend press freedom, to express our opinions, and to be informed and seek the truth.

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