MANILA -- Terminating the franchise of ABS-CBN, the country's leading media and entertainment company, will negatively affect the arts, the Directors Guild of the Philippines (DGPI) said Monday.
Speaking to a Senate inquiry on ABS-CBN's compliance for its franchise, DGPI board member Joel Lamangan said the network is the largest platform that filmmakers can showcase their work.
"Ako po'y nalulungkot dahil sa pagpupulong na ito ay ating dini-discuss ang pagpatay sa isang plataporma na nagbibigay, naglulunsad ng kalayaan sa pananalita, kalayaan sa pamamahayag at kalayaan sa pagpapahayag," the multi-awarded film director told lawmakers.
(I am saddened that in this hearing we're discussing the killing of a platform that gives, launches freedom of speech, freedom of expression.)
He added, "Ang pinakalawak na plataporma ng aming obra ay ang ABS-CBN. Ang anumang pagkitil sa prangkisa ng ABS-CBN ay malawak na pagyurak sa karapatan ng pagpapahayag at pamamahayag at karapatan ng malayang pananalita."
(The largest platform of our work is ABS-CBN. Terminating the franchise of ABS-CBN is trampling the right to freedom of expression and freedom of free speech.)
For Lamangan, these constitutional rights are the "soul of the nation."
"'Pag nawala ang napakalaking plataporma, nakakatakot. Kung magagawa ito sa ABS-CBN, maaaring magawa ito sa maliliit na may prangkisa. Sino na ang magkukuwento ng mga istorya natin?" he said.
(If we'll lose the largest platform, it's frightening. If this can be done to ABS-CBN, this can also be done to other small companies. Who will tell our stories?)
As a martial law survivor during his teen years, Lamangan said he had been fighting for the right of freedom of speech and freedom of expression for 2 decades.
"Ngayon lamang ako naka-attend ng isang pagpupulong na papatay sa prangkisa sa pinakamalawak na plataporma ng paglulunsad ng kalayaang ito. Isang malungkot na katotohan ito sa atin," he said.
(It's my first time to attend a discussion that will kill the franchise of the largest platform that offers these rights. It's a sad truth for us.)