Majority of Filipinos wanted Philippine lawmakers to renew a 25-year license for the country’s top broadcaster ABS-CBN, showed a survey result on July 11, a day after its bid for renewal was rejected.
The survey, conducted by private pollster Social Weather Stations (SWS) from July 03 to July 06 via a nationwide mobile phone interview, showed that three out of four adult Filipinos (75%) agreed that “Congress should renew the franchise so that ABS-CBN can broadcast its programs again”.
Critics saw the rejection of renewal of the broadcasting license as part of a political vendetta by President Rodrigo Duterte’s allies in Congress.
The media conglomerate earned the ire of the president after accusing them for its failure to air some of his paid 2016 election campaign commercials. The network has apologised.
A legislative committee overwhelmingly agreed with a working group’s assessment that ABS-CBN, which employs 11,000 people and has an audience of tens of millions of Filipinos, was “undeserving of the grant of legislative franchise”.
Of those surveyed, 10% were undecided while 13% disagreed, SWS said in a statement.
The survey also found 56% agreed that the non-renewal of ABS-CBN’s franchise was “a major blow to press freedom”, SWS said.
The government “lost a media partner in information dissemination”, Duterte’s spokesman Harry Roque said in a statement on Sunday when asked for comment on the survey.
However, he reiterated that the granting of the broadcasting franchise remained the exclusive prerogative of Congress. (Source: CNA)