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Recto scores ‘death penalty’ imposed by House on ABS-CBN: A noisy press is soundtrack of democracy

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By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN

Senate President Pro-Tempore Ralph Recto said the decision of the House committee on legislative franchise to junk the franchise application of embattled broadcast giant ABS-CBN can be considered as the “ultimate form of censorship.”

In a statement, Recto said, many politicians like him “many times, have been on the receiving end of unflattering reports from ABS-CBN,” but reply is the best response, not closure.”

“(A shutdown) is the ultimate form of censorship,” said Recto.

Recto stressed that freedom of the press is “wasted if solely used to praise.”

“It is not there to airbrush the truth or Photoshop the ugly, but, like a national mirror, is hoisted in front of us so we can see the true reflection of ourselves, wrinkles and all,” he explained

He added that a noisy press, “all the more the sound from outlets which does not please our ears, is the soundtrack of democracy.”

According to Recto, ABS-CBN “does not deserve the death penalty” especially during this time of pandemic wherein the country needs every media outlet to disseminate life-saving information, considering that the Lopez-owned firm is supposedly the network “with the widest reach.”

Recto stressed the alleged sins committed by the Kapamilya network are just corporate misdeed which can be penalized under various laws, but a shutdown should never be an options.

“If it erred, penalize it. Because if corporate misdeed is punishable with extinction, no business will be left standing in this land,” said Recto.

“When we need every tax peso collected so we don’t take a second mortgage on our children’s future, we don’t shut down a large taxpayer,” he added.

Recto’s wife, House Deputy Speaker and Batangas Rep. Vilma Santos-Recto was one of only 11 congressmen who voted against the committee report last Friday which recommended to deny the Lopez-owned media conglomerate a new legislative franchise.

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