“Ang pinakamalawak na plataporma ng aming obra ay ang ABS-CBN.”
Directors Guild of the Philippines board member Joel Lamangan made this statement Monday as he made a heartfelt plea against threats to shut down media giant ABS-CBN.
Appearing before a Senate committee in a highly anticipated hearing on issues surrounding the network’s compliance with its franchise, Joel stressed that revoking ABS-CBN’s license to operate will certainly have negative impact on the arts, as the media giant is the largest platform that filmmakers like him 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," Joel told lawmakers.
“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,” he added.
Joel also raised concerns over the fate of smaller companies, saying that if threats of shutdown can be made against ABS-CBN, the country’s leading media and entertainment company, the same can be done against smaller, relatively newer franchises.
“‘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.
The fight for ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal is close to Joel’s heart, as he had been fighting for the right to freedom of speech and freedom of expression since he was a teenager, when the country was still under the state of martial law, according to the filmmaker.
“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.