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.