Rodrigo Duterte
President Rodrigo Duterte delivers a speech during the annual general membership meeting of the Philippine Military Academy Alumni Association Inc. at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City on January 21, 2020. (Alfred Frias/Presidential Photo)

Rather than demolishing the oligarchy, the shutdown of ABS-CBN is an assault on the Republic, whose fundamentals are the independence of the executive, legislative and judicial branches and representative government’s heeding the people’s sentiments.

Mr. Duterte himself bragged that the shutdown of ABS-CBN was his doing, which means that the House Franchises Committee did what he wants. The same committee also ignored 75 percent of the people’s favoring the renewal of the network’s franchise.

The real oligarchs — the few in power — are the beneficiaries of what is happening, which is a reprise of the martial law period when Ferdinand Marcos had total control of government.

Prof. Luis V. Teodoro is a former dean of the University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication, where he used to teach journalism. He writes political commentary for BusinessWorld.

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