Zamboanga mayor denies curtailing press freedom
ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines – Mayor Beng Climaco denied claims that the city government was curtailing press freedom when it ordered the closure of broadcasting station EMedia Productions.
Climaco explained that the city government was exercising its power under the Local Government Code to ensure that business establishments comply with requirements for business permits.
"It's not really a curtailment of press freedom otherwise the media in Zamboanga City are not given the opportunity to be critical of the local government unit," she said during her weekly press briefing in City Hall last October 9.
EMedia Productions was closed on October 6.
She further clarified that anybody who wants to do business in the city must have the necessary requirements. In the case of the involved media outfit, these requirements include a legislative franchise and a registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Climaco said that "once these requirements are complied with," the media outfit "can operate."
On the claim that the issue has political undertones, the mayor said she would understand such perception "because of the nature of our work," as is the case even in Malacañang.
For her part, City Administrator Marie Angelique Go maintained that the said media outfit has yet to comply with the legislative franchise and National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) authority, which are required for the issuance of business permit by the city government, as mandated by law. – Rappler.com
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