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The end of ABS-CBN

"There are buyers waiting around the corner."

 

That the National Telecommunications Commission ordered the closure of broadcast network ABS-CBN comes as no surprise.

The order does not cover the ABS-CBN News Channel, which is a cable channel. It does cover, however, ABS-CBN in general – free TV and DZMM.

This decision came after the NTC commissioners realized that if it gave ABS-CBN provisional authority, the NTC could be accused of graft and corruption for giving the network undue advantage.

Sure, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, we Filipinos need all the information we can get about this invisible enemy. And this means television, radio and the Internet.

But the shutting down of the Lopez network reminds us of the legal maxim: The law may be hard, but it is the law. In this connection, I must commend President Duterte, a lawyer himself, for the decision despite the opinion from Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra.

ABS-CBN had been operating illegally. But there are buyers waiting in the wings since the network is profitable.

If we recall, the owner of Channel 5, taipan Manny Panngilinan, had offered this channel to be a blocktimer if it wanted to continue its programs. There are of course some bleeding hearts who have self-interests to protect and who condemn the NTC’s decision. But, as they say, all good things must come to an end.

**

The Supreme Court’s decision to release inmates belonging to the sick, indigent or elderly population is a step in the right direction.

I have been talking about this for a long time. I have been urging the Department of Justice to do something about the congested jails, where inmates live in sub-human conditions.

I have seen photos of prisoners taking turns sleeping.

Comes now the COVID-19 pandemic. But how can the inmates practice social distancing to spare themselves the virus?

**

As if the reports we have been getting about the continued rise in coronavirus cases were not bad enough, here come the findings of scientists that coronavirus is here to stay. This means that like AIDS, SARS, influenza and pneumonia, COVID-19 will still be around. Indeed, we will never be the same.

**

Petty politics is rearing its ugly head in the case of Senator Jinggoy Estrada, who was arrested for merely distributing milkfish to some San Juan City residents.

San Juan Mayor Francis Zamora, who during last elections won against Jinggoy’s daughter, is a staunch political enemy of the Estradas. According to Zamora, Jinggoy should have coordinated with him. But, really, he should have left Jinggoy alone.

**

Some people are asking me whether I think the Enhanced Community Quarantine will yet be extended after it is supposed to end on May 15, next Friday.

I have no idea.

What I do know is that the Inter-Agency Task Force and President Duterte are in a lot of pressure to ease restrictions because far too many people are losing their jobs.

Topics: National Telecommunications Commission , ABS-CBN , COVID-19 , Enhanced Community Quarantine , Rodrigo Duterte , Inter-Agency Task Force , Francis Zamora , Jinggoy Estrada
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