Union groups decry ‘sabotage’ of online petition for ABS-CBN franchise renewal

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THE ABS-CBN Rank and File Employees’ Union and the ABS-CBN Supervisory Employees’ Union on Sunday denounced the massive attack done by trolls to sabotage their online signature campaign to bring the Lopez-owned broadcast network back on-air.

Jon Villanueva, president of the ABS-CBN Rank and File Employees Union, said the attacks came from bots and fake accounts, and used obscenities, cuss words, and repetitive names as usernames.

“We are cleaning up our database right now and will relaunch with proper security to prevent another attack. We will not give up because we are fighting for our family, for our children and their future,” he said.

Villanueva said the online attack suggests an organized effort by those seeking to permanently shutter ABS-CBN. 

“Nakakalungkot malaman na may mga grupo o tao na nais siraan o gawing di kapani-paniwala ang gaming petisyon. Napakahalaga po sa aming 11,000 o higit pang manggagawa ng ABS-CBN ang apela na ito.”

[It’s just so said that there are people or groups who want to sabotage or damage the credibility of our petition. This appeal is so important to the 11,000 workers of ABS-CBN].

Thousands of employees of ABS-CBN initiated the signature campaign (https://bit.ly/3bTj1wV.) on May 22 to call on members of the House of Representatives to pass a law renewing the network’s franchise.

Raul de Asis, president of the ABS-CBN Supervisory Employees’ Union, thanked the public for supporting their initiative and appealed to detractors to respect their right to express their sentiments.

“Our intentions are clean in conducting this online petition.  To those who are discrediting us, please do not sabotage the efforts of the people working in ABS-CBN,” said de Asis.

ABS-CBN went off the air on May 5, after the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) issued a cease-and-desist order in spite of its previous promise under oath to lawmakers that it would grant the network a provisional authority.

ABS-CBN has said it may have to start retrenching employees by August if it fails to get a new or provisional franchise.

Image credits: AP/Aaron Favila

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