MANILA, Philippines – Liza Soberano and writer Mark Angos shared their thoughts on ABS-CBN's franchise renewal, which the House of Representatives is set to take up in the next few weeks.
At the media conference of the show Make It With You on Thursday, January 9, the cast as asked for a message for President Rodrigo Duterte, who has threatened many times that he will block the renewal of the network's franchise.
"I believe that he's understanding and alam naman niya na maraming maapektuhan (he knows a lot of people will be affected)," Liza said. "It's not just the company itself, but also the employees and I am sure he has a generous heart and understanding heart .
"So, I hope he wakes up one morning and thinks about it again and for his heart to be open to all small employees who need work," she said in a mix of English and Filipino.
Mark, for his part, said: "One thing that has been assured to us or the management, our bosses that they are assuring us in making sure na ano man ang mangyari, magkakapamilya kami dito sa (whatever happens, we're all family here in) ABS-CBN and we will be taken care of.
"So the management is asking us to focus on do what we do best – which is give entertainment and magpasaya ng maraming pamilya (to entertain as many families as we can)."
Duterte has threatened to block the passage of a law that would grant the station a congressional franchise. Back in April 2017, he accused the network of "swindling" him because they allegedly did not air his political advertisements during the 2016 presidential elections.
In December 2019, he once reiterated his threat, saying: "Ang iyong franchise mag-end next year. If you expect ma-renew 'yan, I'm sorry. I will see to it that you’re out." (Your franchise will end next year. If you expect it to be renewed, I'm sorry. I will see to it that you're out.)
In the Philippines, broadcast companies such as radio and television networks must obtain a franchise from Congress under Republic Act 3846.
The franchise bill needs approval by the House of Representatives before it is forwarded to the Senate. A version of the bill approved by both the House and the Senate will still require presidential approval.
ABS-CBN's current franchise, which was approved through Republic Act No. 7966 on March 30, 1995, is set to expire on March 30, 2020.
Sharon Cuneta earlier said that she hopes and prays that Duterte will reconsider the decision, saying a lot of jobs are at stake. – Rappler.com