FREE PRESS: THE MOST DANGEROUS FOE OF TYRANNY

FREE PRESS: THE MOST DANGEROUS FOE OF TYRANNY

STATEMENT OF THE FIL-AM PRESS CLUB OF NEW YORK

The Filipino-American Press Club of New York (FAPCNY), together with other organizations committed to freedom of speech and the press, stand in solidarity with the journalists and employees of ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corp. and ABS-CBN International’s The Filipino Channel.

As a community of working Fil-Am journalists and communication professionals in the New York Tri-State, FAPCNY is calling on the Philippine Government to respect the role of a free press in creating a sustainable democracy and prosperous society.  We urge Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and his political allies to renew the franchise of ABS-CBN, for no other reason other than, it’s the right thing to do.

Over the years, ABS-CBN’s News has played an important role in bringing news to Filipinos around the world, empowering them to make informed decisions. This must continue.

ABS-CBN News has given voice to Filipinos by enabling conversations on relevant issues, holding those in power to account. This must continue.

ABS-CBN’S entertainment programs on the other hand, continue to provide Filipinos around the world an emotional connection to their homeland. This must continue.

Through the years, the network has also been an avid supporter and promoter of homegrown Filipino talent; providing platforms such as talent shows celebrating our countrymen’s love for music, and for creating original Filipino music. This must continue.

While it is not a perfect organization, ABS-CBN has assured the public that it will strive to maintain the highest level of integrity in the conduct of its work. We believe them.  And we also believe shutting down the network for its perceived imperfections is not the ultimate solution.

An attack on ABS-CBN is an assault on all of us who believe in freedom and democracy.

It is also an attack on history – ABS-CBN brought Television to the Philippines at a time when the only other country that had the capability to broadcast entertainment and news in Asia was Japan. 

Filipinos across the globe, including those of us in America, are enjoying news and entertainment because of ABS-CBN’s 65 years of service to the Filipino. 

We are calling on the Philippine Congress and the Philippine President to allow ABS-CBN to continue their service to the Filipino people wherever they may be. 

Winston Churchill once said, “A free press is the unsleeping guardian of every other right that free men prize; it is the most dangerous foe of any tyranny.”

We the People,

The working journalists and media professionals of

The Fil-Am Press Club of New York

 Disclosure: FAPCNY is a press club whose members are comprised of community media professionals and is currently headed by Don Tagala as President and Chairman of the Board. He is a multi-awarded video journalist employed by ABS-CBN International’s North America News Bureau.

Consul General Cristobal holds ConGen Hour with FAPCNY

Consul General Cristobal holds ConGen Hour with FAPCNY; Calls on FilAms to Participate in Census 2020

New York – Consul General Claro S. Cristobal met with the members of the Filipino-American Press Club of New York (FAPCNY) during the ConGen’s Media Hour at the Philippine Center on September 12, 2019.

Cristobal said that Filipinos should participate in the Census for it is a tool that ensures equal opportunity and protection, Federal affirmative action plans and funding, and a way to understand the demographic changes of a locality.

“The idea is to make our impact better known to society, to attend to our basic needs, raise our profile, and family welfare through the Census. We in the Philippine government need a solid ground as to the real numbers of Filipinos here,” he told members of the FAPCNY.

Consul General Cristobal listens to a question raised by FAPCNY President Marivir Montebon. Also in photo: FAPCNY treasurer Momar Visaya, editor of the Asian Journal.

Cristobal explained that if Filipinos wanted to make waves in the American political arena or their voices heard in policy advocacy, they should start with responding to the Census. “Political leaders would know if we are a force to give attention to if the Census shows the numbers,” Cristobal said. Federal and state funding for socio-economic programs are also dependent on the Census, he added. 

The 2010 Census roughly estimated Filipinos in the US to be 4 million, with an estimated 360,000 Filipinos in the East Coast.  In Queens neighborhoods, program undercuts were particularly high in immigrant populations, such as East Elmhurst and Jackson Heights, because of non-participation of residents during the 2010 Census.


Members of the Pres Club with Consul General Claro Cristobal

The inclusion of the citizenship question in the upcoming Census has already created a cautious attitude among Filipinos here in participating in the population count. Of late, the Supreme Court has struck out the question on citizenship from the questionnaire. 

During the ConGen Hour, Consul General Cristobal also shared his experiences in connecting with the Filipino communities in Egypt where he served as the Philippine Ambassador and in Hong Kong and Tokyo where he was Consul General. He entertained questions raised by the media on various topics like the usual problems of Filipinos overseas and how he assesses the Filipino community in the US East Coast, his most rewarding post.

The members of the FAPCNY thanked Consul General Cristobal for his time and the information he shared during the meeting. (From the press release of the Philippine Consulate General New York and an article of OSM! Online Magazine; Photo by Lambert Parong)