Manila, Philippines – The European Parliament has released September 17 a resolution urging the Philippine government to renew the broadcast license of one of the largest media networks in the country, ABS-CBN. 

The parliament, which composed of 705 members from the member states of the European Union, regards the resolution to its diplomatic affairs with the Philippines, where it has made a number of addresses to the country’s present situation on human rights. 

In the document, the parliament laid out its position on the issue of press freedom, making a specific call to the country’s government to grant ABS-CBN its franchise.

The resolution read, “[The Parliament] is alarmed about the deteriorating level of press freedom in the Philippines.” 

“[The Parliament] recalls that press freedom and freedom of expression are fundamental components of democracy [and] calls on the Philippine authorities to renew the broadcast [license] of the main audio-visual group, ABS-CBN,” read the document.

The network’s franchise expired on May 4 of this year. Since 2014, the network has been applying for the renewal of its broadcast rights. Refusal to prioritize the network’s application is continuously being associated with the country president’s personal grievances due to allegedly biased news coverage involving the president. This has led to protests in the name of press freedom, occurring both online and on the streets.