MANILA, Philippines – Coco Martin, one of ABS-CBN’s biggest talents, has not held back since the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) ordered media giant ABS-CBN to stop operations on Tuesday, May 5.
The actor was among the first among the network’s talents to call out the government’s move after ABS-CBN went off-air – and he continued to do so in a Facebook live event on Friday, May 8. (READ:‘Ang Probinsyano’ star Coco Martin slams Calida, NTC: ‘Tinatarantado ninyo ang mga Pilipino’)
In the video, Coco, the star of long-running teleserye Ang Probinsyano, questioned the timing of the shutdown order, as well as the priorities of the government.
“Sabi ko, anong klaseng taong ‘to? Sa gitna ng pandemya, sa gitna ng nangyayari sa ating bansa, nauna niyo pang isipin ipasara ang ABS-CBN kaysa tugunan ang lahat ng pangangailangan ng ating bansa?” he said.
(I said, what kind of people are they? In the middle of a pandemic, in the middle of everything that’s happening to our country, they thought of shutting down ABS-CBN instead of answering to all the other needs of our country?)
He stressed that ABS-CBN and its artists pay their taxes every year, and beyond that, they work to serve Filipinos around the world in their own way as actors by giving them entertainment and inspiration.
“Sa panahon ngayon, ang ABS-CBN at ang mga artista ang isa sa mga tumutulong sa mga tao ngayon. Ano pong malaking problema dun?” he said.
(At this time, ABS-CBN and its talents are among those helping the people. What’s the problem with that?)
“Ngayon po, ano po bang uunahin natin ngayon? Tanggalin ang kumpanya na tumutulong sa ating kapwa, sa lahat ng mga Pilipino? O ‘yung sugal na pinapasok sa ating bansa? Buti pa ‘yung POGO, diba, pinaglalaban ‘nyo,” the actor continued.
(At this time, what are we going to prioritize? Remove the company helping others, helping Filipinos? Or the gambling that has entered our country? The POGOs are lucky, you are fighting for them.)
Coco was referring to the government’s move on May 1 to permit Philippine Offshore Gaming Operations (POGOs), mostly run by Chinese businessmen, to resume operations provided they pay their taxes.
Coco went on to question why some people are so happy that ABS-CBN has been shutdown and why they are rejoicing that the network’s 11,000 employees are now at risk of losing their jobs.
He also questioned Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque saying that ABS-CBN employees may qualify for the emergency subsidy program of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
“Eh kung ang buong Pilipinas nga di niyo masuplayan eh. Pati kami makikidagdag?” Coco said.
(You can’t even provide for the entire country. We’ll add to that problem?)
Coco wondered if ABS-CBN did commit a violation, why was the network not asked to pay a penalty first. He said that as an actor, he doesn’t know much about the law, but he knows that the law should be for the people.
He said that the company was not trying to evade the law, pointing out that ABS-CBN President and CEO Carlo Katigbak even gave a statement at a Senate hearing on the company’s franchise renewal in February.
“Ang sinasabi namin sa inyo na sana naiintindihan niyo, may pinagdadaanan ang ating bansa ngayon, at sana naging makatao man lang sila, sana pinatapos lang muna nila ito, saka tayo pare-pareho pumunta sa Kongreso at tingnan natin kung ano ang magiging resulta, ganun lang po,” Coco said.
(What we’re trying to tell you is that we hope you understand. Our country is going through a crisis right now and I wish they thought of the people, that they let this blow over, and then we all head to Congress and see what the results will be. That’s all).
Other Kapamilya talents
Along with Coco, other ABS-CBN talents appeared in the video, including actress Bela Padilla, TV Patrol weather anchor Kim Atienza, directors Antoinette Jadaone and Dan Villegas, and a surprisingly outspoken Kim Chiu, who said that shutting down ABS-CBN was tantamount to taking away the dreams of Filipinos.
Kim rose to fame after winning the first Pinoy Big Brother: Teen Edition in 2006. She said that ABS-CBN gave her the opportunity to provide for her family, adding that shutting the network down takes that opportunity away from others.
“Simula bata hanggang matanda may platform ang ABS para tulungan ang ordinaryong tao. So bakit niyo tatanggalan ng pangarap at pag-asa ang isang tao?” she said.
(ABS-CBN has platforms to help ordinary people, both young and old. Why would they take away a person’s dreams and hopes?)
“Yung saya ng bawat Pilipino na kahit maliit lang, pinagkaitan niyo sila ng saya sa panahong ito. Bakit niyong tatanggalan ng platform ang mga ordinaryong tao?” the actress continued.
(You’ve taken away the joy of each Filipino at this time. Why would you take away the platform of ordinary people?)
Ultimately, Kim appealed to the NTC to let ABS-CBN operate again.
“Walang nilabag na batas ang ABS-CBN, sadyang na-delay lang po ang prangkisa namin, at nananawagan kami sa NTC na sana ibalik niyo po kami at hayaan niyo po kami ipaglaban ang karapatan namin,” she said.
(ABS-CBN did not violate any laws, our franchise renewal was simply delayed. We call on the NTC to let us come back and defend our rights.)
At the same time, Coco asked his fellow entertainment industry workers to support ABS-CBN, saying it was their fight, too. He also appealed to Filipinos.
“Sana po tulungan niyo po kami, nakikiusap po kami, kasi kung magsasawalang kibo tayo at hahayaan natin to, para nalang tayong nagpasipa at hinayaan na pagtawanan tayo. Wala nang ibang oras para kumilos kung hindi ngayon, at nagsisimula palang tayo.”
(We hope you help us. We appeal to you. Because if we don’t take action and let this happen, it’s like we’ve allowed them to kick us down and laugh at us. There is no other time than now to take action. And we are just starting.) – Rappler.com