Schools from the University Athletic Association of the Philippines were one with broadcast giant ABS-CBN after it was forced to shut down its operations last Tuesday.
Minutes after the network went off the air after the orders of the National Telecommunications Commission due to an expired franchise, De La Salle University’s main building lit up with ABS-CBN’s colors, red, green, and blue.
Season 82 Ateneo de Manila University, on the other hand, lamented the NTC’s decision, saying that it “deprived the Filipino people of a vital source of information, entertainment, and public service”.
“Filipinos need ABS-CBN now, especially now during these urgent times of the pandemic, when the information provided by our country’s broadcast journalists spells the difference between life and death for our citizens, most of whom still get their news from television and radio,” said Ateneo president Fr. Jett Villarin, SJ.
Moreover, Fr. Villarin, 60, also pointed out that the forced shut down of ABS-CBN was reminiscent of martial law 50 years ago.
“ABS-CBN’s closure extinguishes the brightest light in our information firmament and leaves the smaller ones in darkness and peril,” his statement continued.
“We urge our lawmakers to act post-haste to approve the ABS-CBN franchise and restore its broadcast.”
University of Santo Tomas also shared the same sentiments as Ateneo, saying that ABS-CBN “has become a constant companion of Filipinos here and abroad”.
“The Pontifical and Royal University of Santo Tomas laments the order to stop ABS-CBN from continuing its broadcast operations, as it is a clear disservice to the Filipino people, in time of the pandemic, when information, delivered fast and wide, is key to saving lives,” UST’s statement read.
Far Eastern University, through its Department of Communication, rued the timing of the shutdown.
“In the face of a public health crisis, the unemployment of the network’s employees aggravates their economic and health situations as well as those of their families. They need a government that understands their plight,” FEU’s statement read as ABS-CBN employs 11,000 people.
“Advocating the mantra, ‘May alam, May pakialam’, the department urges the ABS-CBN management, media workers, and the public to resist all forms of oppression by seeking and supporting lawful actions to resolve the issues.”
ABS-CBN is the broadcast partner of the UAAP.