Karapatan reaction to the denial of ABS-CBN's franchise renewal

Today marks a dark day on press freedom and democracy in the Philippines—and a sign of even darker days to come as the fascist Duterte regime rabidly unleashes its consecutive attacks on the people from the signing of the Anti-Terrorism Act into law just a few days ago, and now, the rubber stamp Congress' denial of ABS-CBN's franchise renewal. 

The denial of the renewal of ABS-CBN's franchise is the latest and perhaps the biggest blow on press freedom in the country so far. Not only is it an attack on press freedom: it is also an attack on the rights of thousands of workers who are set to lose their jobs in the middle of a pandemic and economic crisis; it is a denial of the people's right to know, of people's access to relevant, timely, important, and life-saving information in the middle of a public health crisis.

No matter how this regime tries to maintain the illusion of rule of law and democracy in the Philippines, the railroaded passage of the Anti-Terrorism Act as well as the denial of ABS-CBN's franchise renewal despite massive public opposition show us one thing: we are under a de facto martial law, and we are spiraling further and further into it. Karapatan stands with press freedom advocates, human rights defenders, civil libertarians, and all freedom-loving Filipinos in condemning this atrocious assault.

We cannot let this continue. We should continue to resist. We should continue to fight back.