MANILA, Philippines – The artists of Star Magic performed a new version of the song "Hawak Kamay," a Yeng Constantino original.
The song is part of Star Magic's campaign to support ABS-CBN amid threats against its legislative franchise. Star Magic is the talent management arm of ABS-CBN, one of the biggest entertainment companies in the Philippines.
Star Magic talents earlier posed for portaits wearing special ribbons to campaign against the network shutdown, while some have joined protests outside the network's compound against threats to the network.
The video is interspersed with interviews with people who have worked in ABS-CBN for decades, all expressing their fear and apprehension over a possible shutdown.
The House of Representatives, where bills to grant legislative franchises must originate, is set to tackle on Tuesday, March 10 the franchise renewal. But a member of the opposition has criticized the planned hearing, calling it limited.
No less than President Rodrigo Duterte has accused the network of being biased. Duterte insists that the network failed to air some of his campaign advertisements in 2016. ABS-CBN tried to return the amount spent for the ads, but the Duterte camp had turned this down.
Still, ABS-CBN President and CEO Carlo Katigbak apologized to Duterte.
In order to air on television, media networks in the Philippines must secure a legislative franchise from Congress. The proposed law must first go through the House of Representatives, then the Senate, before it is eventually signed into law by the president. Like any other law, the president has the option to veto the bill.
ABS-CBN's legislative franchise expires on May 4. – Rappler.com