Shut down Philippines TV network journalist tells of ‘the unthinkable’


Rappler justice reporter Lian Buan talks to ABS-CBN’s Mike Navallo who broke the report about the shutdown. Video: Rappler

Pacific Media Watch

For the first time since dictator Ferdinand Marcos declared Martial Law in the Philippines in 1972, ABS-CBN Channel 2 was this week forced to go off the air, reports Rappler.

ABS-CBN told the Supreme Court on Thursday that the shutdown order was a violation of freedom of the press.

READ MORE: Top Philippines TV network told to close under Duterte pressure

ABS-CBN reporter Mike Navallo. Image: Rappler

“The Cease and Desist Order (CDO) also violates the right of the public to information and is a curtailment of the freedom of speech and the press,” said ABS-CBN in a 46-page petition filed to the court.

ABS-CBN News has reported that Solicitor-General Jose Calida pressured the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to issue a cease and desist order, despite earlier promises by the NTC leaders that it would allow the network to provisionally air after its franchise expired on May 4.

Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, who is being blamed for the shutdown, has given the same observation.

Rappler justice reporter Lian Buan talks to ABS-CBN’s Mike Navallo who broke the report, and who covers the justice beat, as the broadcast giant finds itself figuring in the Duterte administration’s legal actions against dissenters.

LISTEN: RNZ’s Kim Hill talks to Rappler editor-in-chief Maria Ressa

Baguio protest
Members and officers of the Baguio Correspondents and Broadcasters Club and NUJP Baguio Benguet held a protest rally against the government closure of ABS-CBN in front of the Baguio City Hall. They used their facemasks to send the message of solidarity. Image: Mau Victa/Rappler
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