Press Release
May 6, 2020

Press Statement of Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph G. Recto
ABS-CBN does not deserve death penalty

The last thing we need in this season of death is an issue that rends our people apart when their attention and energy should be focused on fighting our common enemy.

At a time when more than 1.6 million of our countrymen have lost their jobs, we should not be putting an additional 11,000 people out of work.

At a time when tax collections are down, we should not be shutting down a business which contributes P5 billion in taxes a year.

At a time when 66,000 enterprises have stopped operations, we should not be adding to the number of workplace closures.

At a time when exports are affected, we should be helping a corporation which markets its creative outputs abroad stay afloat.

At a time when truth is as important as tests, tracking, and treatment in fighting the virus, we should not be pulling the plug on a giant bullhorn that announces life-saving information.

At a time when news, information and entertainment help overcome the helplessness and the boredom felt by a quarantined nation, we should instead be ensuring the free flow of this essential commodity.

The NTC should not have used its powers as some sort of a remote control device, which by a mere push of a button shuts off a TV.

It should have obeyed the formal advice of the Department of Justice, the House of Representatives, and the Senate to allow the continued operation of ABS-CBN while the bill extending its franchise is being finalized.

The way forward is for NTC to allow ABS-CBN to resume operations, for the House to immediately pass the bill, and for the Senate to ratify the bill once it receives it from the House.

ABS-CBN, like all corporations which operate under the grace of government, may have committed a few oversights in its operations.

But these were trespasses--none of which so grievous that it would merit the corporate version of the death penalty.

The remedy for government was to slap it with a fine--a hefty one that hurts the pocket--but not to impose the business equivalent of capital punishment.

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