The House committee report that killed the franchise application of ABS-CBN said that "by no means" was the denial related to press freedom.
Yet in the same report, it cited as one of the supposed violations of ABS-CBN biased reporting, political meddling, and inappropriate program content.
In one of the 13 hearings on the franchise application, ABS-CBN News Chief Ging Reyes was grilled for almost 10 hours about the network's reporting.
Occidental Mindoro Representative Josephine Ramirez Sato said it was a form of prior restraint.
UP Constitutional and Political Law Professor John Molo said it was a form of subsequent punishment.
What are prior restraint and subsequent punishment? These are prohibited abridgements of freedom of the press.
"It will never work for government to regulate the press because the press is the one that protects the basic rights of citizens against who? Against government encroachment," said Molo.
"Whoever is not yet scared that is a member of the press would be lying. You're telling me as a journalist you're not scared? Certainly the space for democracy has severely diminished," said Molo.
Listen to this podcast for a discussion on why press freedom is legally protected from government interference.
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