Gone in eight days: ABS-CBN shutdown clock is ticking

Today is Sunday, April 26, 2020.

Looking at my calendar, I counted eight days before May 4, 2020.

That’s the day when the franchise of ABS-CBN expires.

The bells are now starting to ring to signal the demise of a media giant that has raked in billions and billions of pesos in profits in the business of cheap entertainment and deceiving the public.

There is no possibility of a last-minute revival. At long last, this broadcast company that is also in the forefront of a destabilization campaign against the government is about to close its doors. Deaths are always a reason for mourning; in the case of ABS-CBN, its shutdown is drawing applause from the Filipino people. For it is a victory of the people against the oligarchy.

On March 16, 2020, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) issued Memorandum Order No. 01-03-2020 with the subject heading, “Implementation of Enhanced Community Quarantine Over Entire Luzon Island Including Metro Manila.”

When this was issued, it appears that it gave the wrong impression that NTC was giving ABS-CBN a 60-day extension after the lifting of the ECQ. This false hope is anchored on Section C of the Memorandum Order:

section C memorandum order no. 01-03-2020

It takes only one reading of the provision to know that it does not grant a 60-day extension to the broadcast operations of ABS-CBN. It refers to permits “necessary to operate and maintain telecommunication facilities nationwide.” Its scope covers permits for telecommunications companies like PLDT, Globe, Smart, Bayantel and the like. “Facilities” are infrastructure and equipment needed to keep our phones and wireless services running while the country is still under lockdown. Broadcast operations do not fall under its ambit.

At this time, with eight days to go, nothing has changed in the status of ABS-CBN. Its shutdown will proceed as scheduled. There is no Provisional Authority to Operate as yet from the NTC, which is why I appealed to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte in my Open Letter not to allow this to happen.

Jurisprudence is crystal clear on this matter. On February 17, 2003, the Supreme Court 3rd Division ruled that the NTC has no power to issue a permit to a television network without its first obtaining a legislative franchise. No franchise, no broadcast. The rule is as simple as that.

What about the resolutions adopted by both Houses of Congress that expressed consent for the NTC to issue a Provisional Authority? This is based on the opinion of Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra who stated that ABS-CBN can be given a new lease on life while Congress is still deliberating its application for a new franchise. And what does it make of the commitment made by Deputy Commissioner Edgardo Cabarios that NTC will issue such authority?

All these amount to nothing.

Any freshman law student will have no difficulty telling you that a resolution does not have the weight of a law. A franchise is a law, duly enacted by both Houses of Congress, and approved by the President. Resolutions, on the other hand, are mere expressions of sentiment by Senators and Congressmen/women. The opinion of Justice Secretary Guevarra has persuasive effect, but is not binding. I believe the NTC knows that issuing such a provisional authority has no firm legal footing. Besides, Atty. Larry Gadon has a pending case before the Supreme Court seeking an injunction against it.

Hence, the clock on the wall continues ticking toward May 4, 2020.

OPEN LETTER TO PRESIDENT RODRIGO DUTERTE

April 25, 2020

 

His Excellency

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte

Republic of the Philippines

Malacanang, Manila

 

MR. PRESIDENT:

 

In a matter of nine days, the franchise of ABS-CBN will expire. With certainty, it could not obtain a new franchise on May 4, 2020, or in the following weeks afterwards. Its only recourse, upon the suggestion of Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, is to get a Provisional Authority to Operate from the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC). I am writing to express the collective sentiments of millions of Filipinos OPPOSING the grant of such a provisional authority.

First and foremost, the network has violated the terms and conditions of its legislative franchise under Republic Act No. 7966. These violations are subject of a Petition for Quo Warranto filed by Solicitor General Jose Calida before the Supreme Court. In view of the sub judice rule, I will refrain from delving into the issues.

Second, the network is guilty of defrauding the public with its malicious distortion of information through its news and other public affairs programs. Over the last 25 years, the network has perpetrated upon the public mind a steady diet of half-truths and outright lies to advance and protect the selfish interests of the oligarchy it represents. It has also abused the television, radio and social media platforms to undermine the government.

This program of deception and disinformation has intensified during the last 45 days as the country fought hard to contain the Corona Virus (“Covid 19”) pandemic. Its news and commentaries were deliberately twisted to paint negative images for its viewers, listeners and readers about the government’s response to the crisis. Without a doubt, the purpose was to plant the seeds of doubt in the public mind about the ability of the present dispensation in handling the situation.

I have reason to believe the network is also complicit in a plot to destabilize the government.

On March 4, 2020, one of its talents, actress Kim Chiu, was purportedly ambushed by riding-in-tandem suspects while being driven to her taping session at the ABS-CBN studios at around 6 a.m. Based on media reports, the suspects fired eight rounds from a pistol of still unknown caliber. The bullets impacted upon different parts of the vehicle. Kim Chiu, her driver and personal assistant, were unhurt. Not even a scratch from gunshots at point-blank range from supposedly professional guns-for-hire.

The incident was intended to spark a storm of public protests about the “breakdown in law and order” under the Duterte administration. A number of ABS-CBN celebrities commented on their social media platforms with that message. However, the story didn’t catch fire in the public arena. ABS-CBN quickly buried the issue. After just one day, it stopped reporting on the incident.

Why do I say that this is part of a destabilization plot?

It is public knowledge that the political opposition has formed an alliance with the radical left to attack the government at every opportunity. With the impending expiration of the existing legislative franchise drawing nearer, these groups must have felt a greater sense of urgency to bring down this government. They needed to save ABS-CBN at all costs. Otherwise, they will lose a powerful tool to manipulate and control the public mind.

That establishes the motive.

Call it a “slip of the tongue.” A few days after the incident, Miss Chiu posted on her Instagram thanking some people for the support they gave her after that frightening experience. There were not too many names mentioned. But toward the end of her post, she gave special thanks to “Atty. Aby and Atty. Edwin.” She didn’t give an explanation why she was thanking these two lawyers. Apparently, they are not her lawyers because in another post, she spoke of “my lawyer” about the case. That means she has only one lawyer handling her legal affairs.

It is not far-fetched that these two lawyers are none other than Atty. Abigail “Aby” Valte and Atty. Edwin Lacierda. Both were at the helm of the communications team of then President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III during his term. From what I know, they are also at the forefront of the propaganda efforts aimed at destabilizing the Duterte administration.

I revealed my observation in a YouTube vlog with a conclusion that the ambush was part of a grand evil scheme to topple the present administration on March 29, 2020.

Despite the gravity of the accusation I made, Miss Chiu did not bother to make a rejoinder. Neither did Attorneys “Aby” and “Edwin”. They evaded the issue.

These circumstances support my conclusion that the ambush was fake and that ABS-CBN had deliberately covered up the story after it was exposed as such. This act of covering-up by ABS-CBN is a serious breach of its obligation to the public to deliver the unvarnished information, especially when it involves a high-profile case. It is the final nail to the coffin, so to speak.

Over the last three weeks, I have received an overwhelming expression of disgust and reprehension against ABS-CBN. I believe it is not an exaggeration to say that millions of Filipinos want the network to be closed. The hashtag #YesToABSCBNShutDown has trended as the countdown toward May 4, 2020 ticked off the days.

Now there are only nine days left.

With this in mind, I respectfully bring this collective sentiment directly to you, Mr. President. The Filipino people want ABS-CBN to be shutdown. With the expiration of its franchise under RA 7966 on May 4, 2020, the network will die a natural death. Under existing jurisprudence, ABS-CBN cannot continue to operate without a new franchise. However, it is banking on the opinion of Justice Secretary Guevarra that it can extend its life by a mere Provisional Authority to Operate.

We appeal to you: PLEASE DO NOT ALLOW THIS TO HAPPEN.

Finally, I join an overwhelming majority of the Filipino people that God will shield you from any harm, especially that potential threat from conspirators working ceaselessly to undermine your administration.

 

Very respectfully yours,

 

MANUEL P. MEJORADA

 

When people turn off comments or block others on social media

I just read an article about former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay having blocked pro-Duterte netizens because he apparently has no stomach to tolerate ideas that run counter to his own.

At once, this brought back to mind what ABS-CBN actress Kim Chiu when she posted a YouTube video entitled, “The Truth: Breaking My Silence,” two weeks ago. Kim Chiu hid behind a thick studio curtain, perhaps thinking it would disguise the truth.

Both are excellent examples of cowards who cannot handle the truth that in this world, there are always two sides of a coin. Or rather, many shades of gray. In this world of lightning speed travel of ideas, everybody has a word to say about issues. And those who pretend to espouse causes, and yet shield themselves from contradictory opinions, are quickly exposed as frauds.

A good idea can withstand the most severe of assaults from every side of an equation. After going through a rough storm, it will always emerge intact, and will gain acceptance from among the multitudes. Indeed, there are truths that have outlasted generations of people. The Bible is one of them. We also have the classics in literature. Good ideas are not temporary. In Pilipino, “hindi panandali-an.”

This is the reason the propaganda being propagated by the “dilawans” and the left, with plenty of financial support from the oligarchy, do not last long enough to sink into the public consciousness. These are superficial, hollow, empty. It doesn’t take much to demolish the falsehoods they throw into cyberspace. For every distortion and falsehood, a battery of Patriot missiles in the form of counter-ideas quickly shoot them down.

The same thing can be said about the fake news of ABS-CBN. Kung sa Hiligaynon, maalam na ang mga Pinoy. Hindi na ma-into (Filipinos are now smart. They cannot be fooled).

Kaya binisbisto lang ng mga katulad nina Hilbay at Kim Chiu ang kahinaan ng kanilang pinapakalat na propaganda. Ang taong bayan mismo ang dumedepensa sa gobyerno ngayon laban sa mga ganitong banta sa ating republika.

 

ABS-CBN full speed ahead sa fake news!

In 29 days, the final curtain will fall on ABS-CBN with the expiration of its legislative franchise. At habang lumalapit na sila sa finish line, bumibilis din ang takbo ng ABS-CBN sa pagpakalat ng fake news tungkol kay Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte.

Hinahabol nila ang oras sa pagsikap na mapatumba nila ang gobyerno bago pa man dumating ang May 4, 2020.

Kahapon may pinalabas na naman ang ABS-CBN na fake news tungkol sa nangyaring pamamaril ng isang pulis sa Agusan del Norte ng isang lasing na nag-amok sa checkpoint.

Ito ang headline na pinalabas ng network: “Magsasakang ayaw umanong magsuot ng face mask, patay sa pamamaril ng pulis.”

farmer shot dead headline

Pero iba po ang nangyari.

Ayon sa otoridad doon sa Agusan del Norte, may lalaking lasing na dumaan sa checkpoint. Dahil hindi ito nakasuot ng face mask, sinita ng mga tanod at health worker.

Nagalit ang magsasaki at nagwala. Nilabas ang kanyang hitak at sinugod ang mga nasa checkpoint.

Sa mabuting palad, mabilis na naka responde ang isang pulis.

Hinarap ang nag amok na lasing. Inutosan na huminto at ibaba ang kanyang hitak.

Sa halip na sumunod ang lasing, nag amok na talaga at sinugod ang pulis.

Dahil armado ng deadly weapon ang lasing, napilitan ang pulis na paputokan ng baril. Patay ang amok. Sa mabuting palad, hindi nasaktan ang pulis at ang mga tao sa checkpoint.

DISTORTED ang balita. MISLEADING.

Nabaril ang amok ng pulis hindi dahil sa kanyang paglabag sa regulasyon na magsuot ng facemask kung nasa labas ng bahay.

Nabaril siya dahil inatake niya ang pulis at may balak na saksakin ang pulis.

It was an act of self defense.

Makikita kaagad sa headline ng ABS-CBN ang masamang layunin nito na gamitin ang sinabi ni Pangulong duterte tungkol sa pag gamit ng puwersa sa mga nanggugulo.

Pareho sa Rappler, pinalabas ng ABS-CBN na sinusunod ng pulis ang “shoot to kill” daw na utos.

Hindi naman ganun ang sinabi ni Pangulong Duterte.

Subalit ini-iba ang biased media katulad ng ABS-CBN, Rappler at inquirer ang katotohanan.

Distorted palagi ang balita.

Hindi maganda para sa public perception tungkol kay President Duterte.

Sinasabayan ang ganitong fake news ng mga posts sa social media ng mga artista ng ABS-CBN na minamasama si Pres. Duterte.

May mga nananawagan ng hashtag Oust Duterte Now.

There is no doubt in my mind that ABS-CBN is leading the propaganda war against the government.

Sa bawat pagkakataon, sinisiraan ng network ang gobyerno.

Pinapa-ligaw ng network ang isip ng tao sa maling direksyon.

At sa halip na tumulong upang mapa-calma ang taong bayan, nagtatanim pa ito ng malisyosong kasinungalingan upang magalit sila sa gobyerno.

Napakarami na ang mga kasalanan ng ABS-CBN.

Sa nabanggit ko sa aking investigative report sa kasong fake ambush kay Kim Chiu, bahagi  yun ng isang destabilization plot laban sa gobyerno.

Kaya lang pumalpak dahil mabilis na nabisto na peke ang ambush.

Kailangan mag-ingay ang sambayanan upang ipabatid sa National Telecommunications Commission o NTC na huwag na huwag itong bigyan ng provisional authority to operate.

NO TO THE RENEWAL OF THE ABS CBN FRANCHISE.

YES TO THE SHUTDOWN OF ABS-CBN.

Kung suportado ninyo ang panawagan na ito, paki click ng like at i-share ang video na ito sa inyong mga kaibigan.

We need to confront this threat to our republic as one people.

 

Ambush ni Kim Chiu part of destabilization plot

From day one after the news came out that actress Kim Chiu was ambushed in Quezon City on March 4, a thought had already occupied my mind that this was not what it looked like: an attack on a young celebrity in the streets of the national capital.

And the more I puzzled over the incident, the idea gradually formed that there’s a sinister plot behind it, and the target wasn’t Kim Chiu. It didn’t take long before I became convinced it was a staged ambush to cause widespread anger about the leadership of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.

Isa po itong pakulo ng mga dilawan sa kanilang patuloy na black propaganda campaign against the Duterte government. Their purpose is to bring down President Duterte and pave the way for Vice President Leni Robredo to ascend to the Presidency.

Panoorin niyo ang viral video na ginawa ko sa YouTube:

Benenta na ba nila ang kanilang kaluluwa?

Judging from the actions and statements coming from a number of Senators and Congressmen and -women, it would seem that they have swept aside standards of ethical behavior to accommodate a panicky oligarch-owned television and radio network in its bid to obtain a new franchise from Congress.

For instance, Senator Grace Poe is breaking the rules on the grant of legislative franchises in pushing for an early hearing on the network’s renewal application which has remained stuck in the Lower House. Alam ni Poe na hindi makagalaw ang Senado hanggat na-approve na ng House of Representatives ang bill para sa panibagong franchise. Sa ngayon, wala pa kahit bill. Application pa lang.

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, who acknowledges that ABS-CBN cannot operate without a franchise, is trying to introduce a band-aid solution by filing a Joint Resolution to give the network authority to operate until December 31, 2022. Baka lang kinakalawang na si Manong Frank, pero franchise po ang kailangan. Sir, alam mo yan na hindi mapalitan ng Joint Resolution ang franchise. Wala naman sa batas ang temporary legislative authority, di po ba?

Dalawang bagay lang yan.

It’s either takot sila sa ABS-CBN, or lobby money is at work.

This is the tragedy of this Republic. Meron pa rin tayong mga elected officials na nakakalimot ng kanilang totoong tungkulin, at ito po ang maglingkod para sa mamayan at hindi para sa mayayaman.

PRESS FREEDOM: Hindi panangga ito sa ginawang kasalanan

Wala tayong mahanap na provision sa 1987 Constitution na nagbibigay sa mga media organizations o mga kasapi nito ng karapatan na mag-violate sa mga batas ng bansa by just invoking PRESS FREEDOM.

The Constitution protects freedom of the press. Ibig sabihin, kailangan mabigyan ang ating media ng sapat na kalayaan sa pag report ng balita o pagbigay ng mga kommentaryo tungkol sa mga pangyayari sa lipunan. But even that right is not absolute. May libel laws tayo na nagbabawal ng mga malisyosong pag print o broadcast ng mga bagay na maaraming maka-sira sa pangalan o pagkatao ng iba. Hindi porket totoo ay puwede na nating isulat at post sa Facebook o Twitter o ilabas sa media.

Ang kaso na isinampa sa ABS-CBN ay walang kinalaman sa kung anuman ang mga pahayag nito sa television.

Natuklasan ng Office of the Solicitor General na marami silang nagawang violations sa ating batas. Malalaking krimen. Panlilinlang sa mga subscribers nito. The network is alleged to have ripped off hundreds of millions of pesos from illegal transactions. HIndi pa nga yata kasama diyan yung pag-WRITE OFF, o pagbura, ng utang nito sa Development Bank of the Philippines. Utang nila galing sa pera ng bansa, hindi na siningil.

SO WHAT ASSAULT ON PRESS FREEDOM ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT, ABS-CBN?

At malinaw na binibigyan sila ng DUE PROCESS. Pinapadaan ito sa Supreme Court, ang pinakataas na hukoman sa bansa. May pagkakataon itong mapahayag ang panig. Kung talagang wala naman silang ginawa na kasalanan, di ma di-dismiss ang kaso. At wala itong kinalaman sa kanilang application for renewal of franchise. Ang mga Congressmen ang kausapin nila tungkol diyan, hindi si Solicitor General Jose Calida.

Sa madaling salita, huwag niyong gamitin na SHIELD, o panangga, ang pangalan ng PRESS FREEDOM upang maka-iwas kayo sa mga pananagutan sa batas na inireklamo ni Calida sa Supreme Court. Fight on the merits of the case.

‘Kuryente’

The local media was victim of the creative scams of Jed and Jepoy about so-called achievements to boost the image of the city mayor.
In media parlance, “na-kuryente”.
Jed and Jepoy had been jumping up and down like monkeys lately telling the people about a plan to rehabilitate the city’s traffic lights system with help from ABS/CBN chief executive officer Gabby Lopez.
Consistent with

their penchant for painting a rosier picture than the truth, Jed and Jepoy said the plan is likely to roll out soon because Lopez supposedly promised to bring executives of IBM Philippines to Iloilo City for this project.
Jed and Jepoy boasted that Lopez even volunteered to lend money to the city to make the project a reality.
This tall tale reached the attention of ABS/CBN, forcing Bong Osorio to issue a disclaimer yesterday.
It’s not true that Lopez offered to bring IBM Philippines over to Iloilo. Neither did he offer any loan to the city. Ka-boom!
I knew that sooner or later, the campaign of lies will collapse. No lie can ever go unexposed. Jed and Jepoy are now singing a different tune. They never said those things, they claim. So they are now lying again to cover up a lie. It’s a vicious cycle for liars.