Singer and actress Sarah Geronimo called on the public to unite as “one family” as thousands of workers of her home network ABS-CBN are set to lose their jobs after the media giant was denied a legislative franchise by a House committee.
In a lengthy statement posted on her official social media accounts on Sunday, July 19, Sarah said it was important for people to unite and help each other in order to combat a crisis – both the coronavirus pandemic and the loss of jobs in ABS-CBN.
“Naniniwala po ako na walang pagsubok na ‘di natin kayang malagpasan basta’y tayo’y nagkakaisa sa panalangin at pagsisikap, sama-samang nagpapakita ng tunay na malasakit at pagmamahal para sa ating bansa, para sa ating kapwa,” the “Tala” singer said.
(There is no challenge we can’t overcome as long as we are united in prayer, and hard work, showing genuine concern and love for our country, for our countrymen.)
“Nawa’y maging isang pamilya po tayo para sa mga lubos na nangangailangan at nahihirapan sa gitna ng pandemya na hinaharap ngayon ng ating bansa. Isang pamilya na nagbibigay ng pagkakataon at tutulungan kang tumayo sa iyong pagkakadapa. Isang pamilya na matibay na nagkakaisa para sa kabutihan nang lahat,” she added.
(I hope we act as one family towards those who are in need and are struggling in the middle of this pandemic. One family that gives you a chance to rise from your tragedies. One family that is united for the betterment of everyone.)
Her statement comes as fans came to her “defense” on social media, after people online called the singer out for her relative silence even as ABS-CBN was denied a new franchise by the House committee on legislative franchises after several hearings.
Sarah, however, has posted about ABS-CBN a handful of times in the past, with the last being a Bible quote on July 11, a day after the House committee vote.
ABS-CBN has been off-air since May 5, following a National Telecommunications Commission order. ABS-CBN’s franchise had lapsed a day earlier because Congress failed to act on several pending bills that would have given it a new franchise.
In her July 19 post, Sarah expounded on her thoughts about the House committee’s decision, as she praised ABS-CBN’s executives who endured hours of questions before the House panel.
“Hindi ko man po alam ang buong detalye kung bakit di na muli nabigyan ng prangkisa ang ABS-CBN… Hindi ko man po naiintindihan lahat pero gusto ko iparating ang aking pagsaludo sa mga haligi ng ABS-CBN para sa kanilang paglaban ng disente at mapagkumbaba sa harap ng ating mga lawmakers. Bagama’t napakasakit po na matanggihan, patuloy pa rin kaming sumasamo, nakikiusap, at umaapila, nagdadasal para sa aming hangarin na mabigyan muli ang aming minamahal na ABS-CBN family ng isa pang pagkakataon. Pagkakataon na makabawi kung meron mang naging pagkukulang, pagkakataon na malawakang makapaglingkod, makapagbigay serbisyo sa mamayang Pilipino,” she said.
(I may not know exactly why ABS-CBN was not given a new franchise… I may not understand everything, but I want to express my appreciation for ABS-CBN’s leaders who defended the network with all humility and decency before lawmakers. While it is painful to have been denied a new franchise, we continue to appeal, ask, and pray towards our goal for our beloved ABS-CBN to be given another chance. A chance to make up for whatever shortcomings, a chance to serve, a chance to give service to the Filipino.)
Footage and summaries from all the hearings, which were public, are all online. A copy of the House committee on legislative franchises’ technical working group report recommending the denial of ABS-CBN’s bid is also online.
Sarah, who is signed with and managed by VIVA, is among ABS-CBN’s biggest stars. She is part of ABS-CBN’s long-running Sunday variety show ASAP and is a coach of the Philippines’ version of The Voice.
“Mahal ko po ang aking ABS-CBN family. Mahalaga po sa akin ang bawat empleyado na labis na nagdadalamhati ngayon dahil sa kawalan ng trabaho. Nakikiisa po ako sa kanilang apila na muling makabalik sa trabaho upang patuloy na makapagbigay serbisyo para sa kani-kanilang mga pamilya at para sa bansa,” she said.
(I love my ABS-CBN family. Each and every employee who is now hurting because they lost their job is important to me. I am one with them in their plea to return to their jobs so that they can continue to serve their families and the country.)
“Ako po si Sarah Geronimo, ‘di lamang artista, isa ring mamamayang Pilipino na umaapila para sa mga labis na apektado ng COVID-19. Magtulungan po tayo, ‘wag po tayo magwatak-watak. Ituon po natin ang ating pansin at pokus sa ating mga kababayan na sugatan at pasigaw nang humihingi ng saklolo dahil sa pagod, sakit, at pagdadalamhati,” she added.
(I am Sarah Geronimo, not just a celebrity, but also a Filipino making an appeal in behalf of those severely affected by COVID-19. Let us help each other instead of tearing each other apart. Let’s turn our attention towards and focus on our fellowmen who are hurting and who are screaming for help because they are tired, in pain, and in sorrow.)
In a vote of 70 to 11, lawmakers – members of the House committee on legislative franchises and ranking House leaders – voted against giving ABS-CBN a new franchise. – Rappler.com