“We are alarmed that soon, other media outlets would follow. Without the freedom of the press, there is the danger of other freedoms to be lost. God forbid, these are the first ‘test signs’ of curtailing other rights.”
By JANESS ANN J. ELLAO
MANILA – Edita Burgos, the matriarch of the Burgos family who fought the Marcos dictatorship, is not just saddened with the shutdown of ABS-CBN but also deeply alarmed as it may signal the curtailing of more rights.
“We are alarmed that soon, other media outlets would follow. Without the freedom of the press, there is the danger of other freedoms to be lost. God forbid, these are the first ‘test signs’ of curtailing other rights,” Burgos said.
Burgos is the former business manager of We Forum and Ang Pahayagang Malaya, publications that openly criticized the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr. He is the wife of press freedom icon Jose Burgos Jr. and mother of desaparecido Jonas Burgos.
On Tuesday, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) issued a cease and desist order against the ABS-CBN, earning criticisms from progressives, press freedom advocates, netizens, and avid viewers of the network.
“Depriving the Filipino people of a major source of information, at a time when the global health crisis is raging, is the height of insensitivity on the part of the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC),” Burgos said.
She added that ignoring the 11,000 employees who will be affected by the shutdown is “downright cruel.”
“How many families will go hungry because of you?” she said.
Prior to the shutdown, Burgos joined the “Black Friday” protest in front of ABS-CBN’s Esguerra Gate to explain how the threats against the media giant is reminiscent of the Marcos dictatorship. With the lockdown in place, Burgos said, “we must do what we can.”