Journalists, editors and media workers from different media organizations advocated for their ABS-CBN colleagues whose jobs were jeopardized by House lawmakers’ decision to deny the company a fresh broadcasting franchise.

As of writing, more than 600 media workers have signed a joint statement made public Monday, condemning “the unjust and cruel decision of the House committee that threatens the livelihood of workers as we are facing uncertainties due to the pandemic.”

“One media outfit shut down because of the whims and trivialities of those in power is one too many, especially at a time when the public needs credible and independently verified information to make informed choices,” the statement read.

The statement also underscored the duty of journalists in a democratic society, which is to inform people and not serve as “any administration’s publicist.”

“In denying the network of a franchise, the 70 lawmakers clearly want to treat the press as a propaganda machine that will serve their political interests, embellish their image, and parrot their spin,” it continued.

On July 10, the same day the House Committee on Legislative Franchises voted 70-11 in favor of rejecting ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal bid, the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) also released a statement decrying the decision.

The House of Representatives, the group said, “lost all claim” to represent the Filipino people.

“Today, July 10, 2020, the House of Representatives of the 18th Congress of the Philippines has declared itself [an] enemy of democracy,” the NUJP said.

The ABS-CBN shutdown will affect some 11,000 employees. John Ezekiel J. Hirro