Citing the importance of media freedom and access to information amid a global pandemic, several women’s groups in the country have voiced out their support for ABS-CBN Corporation after the National Telecommunications Commission ordered its shutdown.
In a Facebook post, party-list organization Gabriela Women’s Party (GWP) considered the network’s closure as “an attack to democracy and press freedom.”
“Gabriela Women’s Party, together with the women and the larger part of the mass, will not be silenced and will continue to stand against the attacks of this administration on our democracy and free press,” the group said.
On the other hand, an advocacy group composed of the country’s top women business leaders and entrepreneurs, Women’s Business Council Philippines Inc. (WomenBizPH), expressed “grave concern” on ABS-CBN’s shutdown, saying that such move made by the government against the network is not only “a big blow to Filipinos’ right to full information,” but also a form of jeopardy for women-led businesses.
“This closure comes in the midst of a global pandemic that has crippled the country’s economy, causing major upheaval to individual lives, and putting at risk women-owned and women-led businesses, many of which are MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises),” the group lamented.
Philippine Women’s Economic Network (PhilWEN), a consortium of six women’s groups, emphasized the importance of a well-informed citizenry in a productive and progressive society. With ABS-CBN’s closure, the group mentioned that this “leaves many Filipinos without access to information in the middle of a global crisis – a time when information is more crucial to our daily lives than ever.”
Meanwhile, Women Writers in Media Now, a group of female journalists, affirmed their support for ABS-CBN, expressing its “outrage” over the network’s closure as they claim to have also experienced suppression of media freedom before.
“We condemn before the world any suppression of media freedom and all despotic attacks on media institutions and journalists… We have been there. Truth and right will overcome,” the group said in a statement.
Despite the shutdown of its TV and radio operations, ABS-CBN is continuing its mission to be of service to the Filipino people through its public service efforts including the “Pantawid ng Pag-ibig” campaign for Filipinos affected by COVID-19.
Recently, the network announced the return of well-loved ABS-CBN shows on Kapamilya Channel which will be available in cable and satellite TV starting June 13. ABS-CBN continues to find more ways to reach more Filipinos and bring news, public service, and entertainment to Kapamilyas around the world.