The cease and desist order issued by the NTC against ABS-CBN is a deplorable assault on free press that further reveals that this administration is more interested in restricting basic freedoms than in containing a pandemic. 

The National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL) views the order of the National Telecommunications Communications (NTC) as no less than a gag order that is unwelcome amid persistent clamors not only for decisive medical solutions to a pandemic, but also for the propagation of credible news sources to help people navigate through the uncertainties of these perilous times.

NUPL Secretary General Ephraim B. Cortez / JonB

The cease and desist order issued in the afternoon of May 5 is duplicitous because the NTC is aware of the request of the House of Representatives for the NTC to extend the network’s franchise until the House has finished its own deliberations and the legal opinion of the Justice department that the NTC has the authority to do so.

The Constitution demands that all gaps, doubts, or gray areas in the law that are tangential to basic freedoms must be resolved in favor of these fundamental rights. For these freedoms are at the core of what makes us human — living not to simply exist and succumb to the grim realities of society imposed by an insensitive social order, but to also interrogate and shape it into something that better reflects our collective hopes and aspirations.

By resorting once again to outright suppression, this administration reveals that COVID-19 is not the only disease that besets us that spurs clamors for a cure. 

There will be a time for accountability, and this will be part of the lengthening list that this government will be judged on.#

Ephraim B. Cortez | NUPL Secretary General
Josalee S. Deinla | NUPL Spokesperson

The National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers was founded September 15, 2007 as a nationwide association of human rights lawyers as well as law students, paralegals and legal workers in the Philippines united by a commitment to the defense, protection, and promotion of human rights especially of the poor and the oppressed. | 02 9206660