MANILA, Philippines – Sharon Cuneta turned emotional on Tuesday, May 5, after ABS-CBN signed-off from the airwaves because of an order from the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC).
In an Instagram Live, Cuneta, the country’s “Megastar,” said her “heart [was] breaking.”
“Thirty years na ako sa ABS-CBN. It’s my home. There’s tens of thousands of employees who are going to lose their jobs, and I cannot take that.”
The actress and singer said the NTC’s move came as the worst of times, given the coronavirus pandemic and the network’s efforts to help those affected by it.
She also expressed concern for staff and crew, whose jobs are at stake should ABS-CBN remain off-air for long.
“Tapos ‘yung staff namin mismo at crew, sila ‘yung mawawalan ng trabaho. Ako, okay lang… okay na ako, pero sila? Ang sakit,” she said. (And the staff and crew, they’ll lose their jobs. I’m going to be fine but how about them? It hurts.)
Cuneta, who is preparing for a Mother’s Day concert on Sunday, May 10, said not having her staff around was an added cause of heartbreak.
A day later, on May 6, Cuneta took a swipe at House Speaker Allan Peter Cayetano.
“How ironic. It was ABS-CBN that helped his late father, Sen. Rene Cayetano, to gain in leaps and bounds in popularity and high ratings to get elected,” she said, sharing a screenshot of Buhay Representative Lito Atienza’s quote pinning the blame on Cayetano over ABS-CBN’s lack of a new franchise. (READ: ‘Pagkukulang niya ito sa bayan’: Lawmakers blame Cayetano for ABS-CBN shutdown)
In January, Cuneta said she hoped President Rodrigo Duterte would reconsider his stance on the network’s then pending franchise renewal.
On Thursday, May 7, ABS-CBN went to the Supreme Court to ask for a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the NTC order. In the Philippines, broadcast companies must obtain a franchise from Congress under Republic Act No. 3846. – Rappler.com