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Anyare Digong? Mon Tulfo calls ABS-CBN shutdown an ‘egregious blunder’

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Special Envoy to China Mon Tulfo cannot believe his long time friend, President Rodrigo Duterte, allowed ABS-CBN to shut down because its franchise expired.

In his May 9 column for the Manila Times, Tulfo called ABS-CBN’s shutdown an “egregious blunder” that could make the Philippines a “pariah” in the international community.

“As a close friend of Digong who was the one of the first to encourage him to run for the highest office, I am affected by the flak he’s reaping worldwide,” he said.

Tulfo admitted he “shed copious tears” in the minutes before the network went off air on May 5.

“For all its faults — or its owners’ faults — ABS-CBN Corp. is an institution, and closing it down for the second time is an attack on our cherished freedom of the press and of speech,” he said.

Tulfo, however, made it clear that Congress should be blamed for ABS-CBN’s shutdown because it didn’t act on the network’s franchise application.

He said there’s also a brewing tug of war between Solicitor General Jose Calida and Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, who have differing legal opinions on ABS-CBN’s franchise.

Guevarra supported the proposal to grant provisional authority to ABS-CBN so it can continue operations after its franchise expired on May 4. Calida, meanwhile, pressured the National Telecommunications Commission to issue a cease and desist order against the network to force it to go off air.

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