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Will ABS-CBN return on air? Network’s news chief ‘hopeful’ but worried. Here’s why

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ABS-CBN integrated news and current affairs chief Ging Reyes is “hopeful” that the network will return on air but acknowledged that the franchise renewal bid is an unphill climb.

In an interview with the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), Reyes said ABS-CBN’s franchise application has become a “highly politicized matter.”

“While I want to be hopeful, I also am very worried about how other forces will see it differently and take advantage of the situation,” she said.

ABS-CBN has been off the air since May 5, after the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) issued a cease and desist order against the network since its franchise expired.

A number of ABS-CBN’s shows, including the flagship newscast TV Patrol, are airing on other platforms, such as Facebook, YouTube, and cable television.

President Rodrigo Duterte has repeatedly threatened to block the network’s franchise renewal bid.

Reyes said she’s counting on the public to rally behind ABS-CBN even though there are forces that want the network shut down for good.

“I want to be hopeful, I really, really do. And in the long-term I believe that the freedoms we fought for more than 30 years ago [against the Ferdinand Marcos dictatorship] will win out. However, in the near term, I know it will get worse before it gets better,” she said.

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