Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration has shut down the country’s biggest television news channel, ABS CBN, the BBC reported. The channel’s license to operate expired Monday, and the country’s National Telecommunications Commission sent a cease-and-desist letter to ABS CBN’s offices the same day. Before the network stopped broadcasting, ABS CBN chairman Mark Lopez told viewers, “It’s painful for us that we are being shut down, but it’s also painful for millions of our countrymen who believe that our service is important to them.” The company employs 11,000 people. The right-wing leader has clashed with the channel over its refusal to air his campaign ads in 2016 and its detailed coverage of his war on drugs, which has killed thousands, many extrajudicially. Duterte similarly shut down the news site Rappler for coverage he deemed unfavorable.
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