The ABS-CBN Corporation has released a statement on TV Patrol last Wednesday, saying that it is forced to close some of its operations after the House of Representatives voted against its request for another 25-year franchise. This left them no choice but to layoff almost 11,000 employees during the pandemic. (Read: Alden Richards Is the New DOH Advocate for Good Health and Safety)
The decision of the House of Representatives’ Committee on Legislative Franchises was composed of 70 affirmative votes in favor of the “Resolution Denying the Franchise Application of ABS-CBN Corporation to Construct, Install, Establish, Operate, and Maintain Radio and Broadcasting Stations in the Philippines.”
“With the non-renewal of its congressional franchise, ABS-CBN is now forced to cease the operations of some of its businesses and implement a retrenchment program covering ABS-CBN and subsidies effective end of the business day on August 31,” the network said in the statement. (Read: A Prayer for Business Owners in Difficult Times)
After the decision was ruled, several local celebrities expressed concern for the employees who will lose their livelihood in the midst of a pandemic.
Actress and philanthropist Angel Locsin lamented the decision on her Instagram by posting a photo with a lengthy caption referring to the decision as biased and fueled by “personal vendetta”. (Read: 3 Reasons Why Angel, Bea, Dimples, and Anne Are Ultimate #Squadgoals)
“It took a while before I was able to compose myself and feel how I actually felt about the situation. Alam ko I am sad, alam ko I am angry. Pero may pakiramdam ako ng panghihinayang na hindi ko naiintindihan kung saan nanggagaling nung simula. Ngayon po na-realize ko kung saan nanggagaling ang lahat ng emosyon na ito,” the Kapamilya actress said.
“Bakit dinamay ang karamihan sa personal vendetta ng iilan? Totoong serbisyo para sa tao ba ang ginagawa o gumaganti lang dahil na-expose ang ilang pagkakamali nila?” she wrote.
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It took a while before I was able to compose myself and feel how I actually felt about the situation. Alam ko I am sad, alam ko i am angry. Pero may pakiramdam ako ng panghihinayang na hindi ko naiintindihan kung saan nanggagaling nung simula. Ngayon po na-realize ko kung saan nanggagaling ang lahat ng emosyon na ito. Ito na sana ang chance para maayos ng ating gobyerno ang entertainment industry. I was genuinely hoping that we could turn this into an opportunity to fix the industry’s issues. Hindi lang po sa ABS-CBN, kundi ang kabuohan. Though, to be honest, malaki na po ang improvement kumpara nung nagsisimula palang po ako. Katulad ng working hours, contracts, etc. Pero aminado po ako na marami pa rin pong bagay sa entertainment industry ang kailangan pang ayusin, gaya ng ibang nirereklamo ng ibang laborers. But those 70 congressmen chose to shutdown the network instead of standing up for the people and fix those problems. What’s the purpose of those testimonies from laborers fighting for their rights kung dito lang magtatapos? Hindi rin naman sila natulungan. Pinagsalita lang pero iniwan lang rin sa ere. In the end, we, in the entertainment industry, especially the day to day earners, kagaya ng crew, were still denied of the opportunity to work in better labor conditions. Kumbaga sa health, may sakit po ang entertainment industry. At nalagay ang ating mga kongresista sa sitwasyon na gabayan at ayusin sana. But sadly, the congress chose a rigid path, pulled the plug and ignored the plea of the entertainment people. They chose the easy way out instead of curing the disease. Bakit dinamay ang karamihan sa personal vendetta ng iilan? Totoong serbisyo para sa tao ba ang ginagawa o gumaganti lang dahil na-expose ang ilang pagkakamali nila? Kaya ako lumalaban, kahit mahirap at tagilid, kailangan ng mga kasama ko ang karamay ngayon, higit kailan man. Naniniwala akong hindi mawawalan ng saysay ang lahat…dahil tatatak ito sa kasaysayan and we, the Filipino people will never forget ❤️💚💙
Despite working on a different TV Network, Jennylyn Mercado also shared her dismay and concern toward the franchise decision. She described the committee handling the issue as “cruel” in a series of Facebook posts after a video of them rejoicing over the decision surfaced on the internet.
“Sa mga taong tuwang tuwa sa mga pangyayari, huwag niyo sana danasin ang lumuha din at mawalan,” Jennylyn said. “Hindi ba tinuruan tayo ng ating mga magulang na maging makatao sa kapwa? Rejoicing because of other people’s sorrow is not only wrong, but inhumane. You are cruel.”
Sa mga lumuha at nawalan, our prayers and hearts are with you.Sa mga taong tuwang tuwa sa mga pangyayari, huwag niyo…Posted by Jennylyn Mercado on Friday, July 10, 2020
On his recent Instagram post, Enchong Dee urged his fellow celebrities to use their voice and influence, saying “hindi ito ang oras para manahimik“. (Read: John Lloyd, Maria Ressa Star in Video Protest Against Anti-Terror Law)
Enchong also shared on his Instagram caption that he has been fighting for the country since he was 13 years old, “Hindi madali at walang kasiguraduhan pero masarap sa puso,” he said. “I will do the same for the company which I called home for 15 years. Hindi ako titigil sa pananalita laban sa kasamaan na pumapaligid sa ‘tin. Being bashed is a small price to pay to be in [sic] the right side of history,” he added.
“Sa mga kasamahan ko sa ABS-CBN, kasama n’yo ko hanggang muling magbukas ang tahanan natin. At sa mga kapwa ko artista, hindi ito ang oras para manahimik, maging totoo tayo sa salitang #kapamilya.“
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I’ve been fighting for my country since I was 13. Hindi madali at walang kasiguraduhan pero masarap sa puso. I will do the same for the company which I called home for 15 years. Hindi ako titigil sa pananalita laban sa kasamaan na pumapaligid satin. Being bashed is a small price to pay to be in the right side of history. Sa mga kasamahan ko sa ABSCBN, kasama nyo ko hanggang muling magbukas ang tahanan natin. At sa mga kapwa ko artista, hindi ito ang oras para manahimik, maging totoo tayo sa salitang #kapamilya. ❤️💚💙🇵🇭
Some of your favorite celebrities also shared their reaction on their Twitter accounts.
Let us remember this day in history.— Gretchen Ho (@gretchenho) July 10, 2020
Maraming salamat, Kapamilya. 💔
In the service of the Filipino, we remain.
Wish I could hug everyone i love from ABS-CBN right now— Liza Soberano (@lizasoberano) July 10, 2020
The 11 who voted for the 11,000 employees of abs cbn. Maraming salamat po sa inyo. pic.twitter.com/QW3kmwJZNC— Jake Cuenca (@ijakecuenca) July 10, 2020
Vote with CONSCIENCE? Don't worry, we'll vote with PRINCIPLES and INTEGRITY in 2022. ♥️💚💙 #NeverForget— Robi Domingo (@robertmarion) July 10, 2020