The management and members of Currentph.com, a social community of journalists promoting open, free and independent journalism, strongly protest the recent decision of Congress against the grant of a 25-year franchise for ABS-CBN Channel 2 network.
Not only was the decision suspicious and stood on flimsy ground– it shows the total lack of independence of Congress when it willfully acted as a stooge of a Chief Executive out on a political vendetta against his political enemies.
What is so earth-shaking that more than eighty legislators were willing to jump in a mere congressional hearing that requires only 46 of its members to decide whether or not to grant a firm a franchise to operate?
This decision, however, masks a dark and sinister conspiracy of certain forces out to undermine the very democracy and freedoms we so enjoy as a Nation. It is a conspiracy so vile that we suspect, along with several quarters, that what happened to ABS-CBN 2 was part of a bigger plan that places our independence as a Nation-state at stake.
Several events convince us of the existence of this perfectly laid out plan.
- The speedy passage of House Bill number 78 which amended the definition of public service allows 100% foreign ownership of the telecommunications, power and communications see link sets the stage for the entry of a powerful foreign entity on the communications industry.
- This on-going plan by the Department of Transportation and Railways (DOTR) requiring bus firms to secure special permits when most of them have franchises already that gives them the right to do business.
- Several acts of the palace that included the filing of a quo warrant case by the Office of the Solicitor General before the Supreme Court questioning the franchise given to ABS-CBN Channel 2.
- The passage of the Anti-Terror bill of 2020 that amended the Human Security Act of 1997.
We believe that the country’s largest media entity was the first victim of this plan for foreign interests to puncture the fledgling Philippine media industry. While we always believe in fair play, the timing of the entry of this foreign funded local media group comes at a time when tensions are high at the West Philippine sea.
Reports that China’s naval forces have successfully occupied isles near the Philippines and the naval exercises of other countries have heightened fears that a war is imminent.
These conditions spark suspicions of the true intention of this group in the Philippines. The fact that this group is admittedly being funded by Chinese businessmen speaks volumes.
We are all aware of China’s strategic ambitions in the Philippines. Our country’s strategic location makes it as an essential peg in China’s security interests. China’s past and present actions in the West Philippine seas show its strong resolve to impose its will upon us, Filipinos, to protect its own people.
We, as a people, must resist such plans of foreign interests to control certain sectors critical for our survival as a nation. Media is an entity that protects and fortifies a nation’s sovereignty. As part of the sovereign patrimony, the media sector must be protected by the People.