Editor's note: We are publishing in full statements issued by various groups and institutions in support of ABS-CBN Corp., which went off the air on May 5, 2020, following a cease-and-desist order from the National Telecommunications Commission. The company's franchise expired on May 4, and bills for its franchise renewal were "killed" by the legislative franchises committee of the House of Representatives on July 10, 2020.
These past few weeks, we have been mercilessly punched by adversaries. The Covid infection has been rising in the country. Joblessness continues to hit the people. More and more businesses are closing down or downsizing. The economic situation of the country is bleak.
But added to this, the power of authoritarianism is rising. Maria Ressa was convicted, guilty of cyber libel by the Manila Regional Trial Court on June 15, a decision that is very much contested by lawyers and press people alike. It was a way to curtail press freedom. On July 3, President Duterte signed the Anti-Terrorism Bill into law. Many dub it as TERROR LAW because it is seen by not a few as a way of terrorizing the opposition than really fighting terrorists. Then on July 10, the lower house committee killed the bid for franchise renewal of media outlet ABS-CBN. It is viewed by many as a political vendetta of the present administration, no matter the consequences – the thousands of people who will lose their jobs precisely in this trying time and the millions of viewers among the poor who will be deprived of an important source of information and entertainment. Parang bugbog na ang tao. Bugbog ng gobyerno sa kanyang kapalpakan sa pagtugon sa corona virus pandemic, at mas lalong nakakagalit, bugbog ng makinarya ng gobyerno na ipakita na siya ay makapangyarihan.
In moments of gloom, I turn to the Bible for guidance and I read Psalm 37. I was admonished by the psalm and at the same time very much consoled. I just quote the first 10 verses and let them speak for themselves.
- Do not be provoked by evildoers; do not envy those who do wrong.
- Like grass they wither quickly; like green plants they wilt away.
- Trust in the LORD and do good that you may dwell in the land and live secure.
- Find your delight in the LORD who will give you your heart's desire.
- Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will act.
- And make your righteousness shine like the dawn, your justice like noonday.
- Be still before the LORD; wait for him. Do not be provoked by the prosperous, nor by malicious schemers.
- Refrain from anger; abandon wrath; do not be provoked; it brings only harm.
- Those who do evil will be cut off, but those who wait for the LORD will inherit the earth.
- Wait a little, and the wicked will be no more; look for them and they will not be there. (Ps. 37:1-10)
The wicked will not last. God will not allow them. They may win some battles and skirmishes but they will lose the war. Let us not be sad nor be provoked at this bad turn of events. Goodness, truth, and justice will prevail!