Members of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) and hundreds of ABS-CBN employees and supporters on Thursday held a second caravan to the House of Representatives in Batasan, Quezon City to reiterate their support for ABS-CBN franchise.
One hundred forty-four cars carrying at least 300 ABS-CBN employees and supporters joined the caravan from ABS-CBN Esguerra Gate to the gates of Congress, all hoping to urge members of the Committee of Legislative Franchise to vote ‘Yes’ to ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal.
“Most of the people here have already lost their jobs,” said NUJP Secretary General Dabet Panelo during the 30-minute program along Batasan Road. “That is why we are here to urge our congressmen: please consider all the employees who have lost their jobs.”
Bayan Muna Partylist Rep. Carlos Zarate, a former journalist, said there was no enough basis to reject the media giant’s franchise.
“After 12 marathon hearings, we have proven that ABS-CBN, in fact, did not violate their legislative franchise,” Zarate, who also joined the rally in solidarity with the employees, said.
“Having labor problems does not mean that they should not be given another franchise,” said Zarate, adding that the owners of ABS-CBN had promised to reform their employee regulations once they are given another 25-year franchise.
“Now the ball is in the hands of our congressmen, particularly the members of the Committee on Legislative Franchise. Let us hope that they will vote for what is right, and give ABS-CBN another franchise,” Zarate added
NUJP also organized motorcade in support of the ABS-CBN franchise renewal last July 6. Forty-six cars, 12 motorcycles and about 150 people joined the motorcade from the Commission on Human Rights to the Batasang Pambansa Complex to urge lawmakers to approve the network’s franchise, which has been up for deliberation at the House committee on legislative franchises since May.
The committee is set to vote on Friday, July 10.
LOOK: The representatives who will decide on ABS-CBN’s franchise. The FMFA Network encourages the public to make their voices heard in the House. (1/2)#IbalikAngABSCBN#VoteYEStoABSCBN#DefendPressFreedom pic.twitter.com/nQX4mFToOU— CMFR (@cmfr) July 9, 2020