It never was about press freedom

It never was about press freedom"Please stop fooling everyone."



With the decision of the House of Representatives to deny television network giant ABS-CBN its franchise, the network’s four thousand workers have now been effectively added to the list of the unemployed. And for that, I extend them my sincerest sympathy.

But it all ends there. I am pissed whenever I see any of the network executives insisting the denial of their franchise application sends a chilling effect and signals the death of press freedom.

The nerve to speak of press freedom and chilling effect when they were the ones who violated the freedom of expression of two of their talents! The network terminated the talents’ contracts after they were overheard—and misinterpreted, according to the talents concerned -- talking about the station. This could have also sent a chilling effect to their other talents.

How could they claim press freedom had died along with their franchise when up to now, their television and radio anchors have been hitting hard at the solons who voted to deny them of their franchise? How can they claim press freedom is now a thing of the past when their PR operators, up to now, have been reportedly operating overtime to “kill” stories detailing the reasons on the decision to deny their franchise and instead, present a one-sided story favoring them?

Please stop fooling everyone. It has never been an issue of press freedom ever since. It was about a business entity cheating the government on taxes. It was about a television network abusing its broadcast right by feeding decadent values to its viewers (sex or chocolate, Boy Abunda?). It was about a network which has violated its franchise by putting up rider channels. It was about a business entity violating the rights of its workers. And the list goes on.

And now this station has the gall to proclaim before the world they are crying along with their workers who have lost their jobs amid this pandemic courtesy of the lawmakers who voted against their station’s application. 

We are not as dumb as this station thinks. In fact, at this point, I would even think of calling on lawyer Larry Gadon to shout on top of his lungs, the loudest he could do it the better, his famous line, on those parroting your line of death of press freedom and chilling effect.

Pasok Atty. Larry!


While we welcome the decision of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases to allow couples on motorcycles, we still don’t understand why they still require a divider between the two riders.

Even Congressman Ronnie Ong of the Ang Probinsyano Party-list, who was one of the persistent voices on the issue of back-riding couples and family members, is totally against the idea saying that placing a divider between back-riding couples is not only useless and impractical but it also poses great danger not just to motorcycle riders but also to other motorists and pedestrians.

According to Ong, this requirement to place dividers on motorcycles is now the subject of complaints among riders as it has become a convenient tool for extortion by corrupt traffic enforcers. 

Ong said that instead of a physical divider or a shield being installed on motorcycles, riders should just be required to wear full-face helmets, face masks, long sleeves shirts or jackets, long pants, gloves, and closed shoes. 

And Ong is right. If there are some people or things the couple-riders need to get protected from, it is from other people and things they encounter along their way and not from them because back at their home, they share everything from kitchen cutlery, sleeping paraphernalia and everything that couples are supposed to share in bed.

So, why the divider which could even pose danger for the couple-riders? Hope the people in IATF-IED come to their senses the soonest possible time before these dividers cause accidents.

Topics: House of Representatives , ABS-CBN , franchise , Ronnie Ong
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