‘You’re making a fool out of Filipinos’ – Coco Martin to Calida on ABS-CBN shutdown
MANILA, Philippines – Actor Coco Martin fumed at Solicitor General Jose Calida on Tuesday for his supposed role in the shutdown of ABS-CBN a day after its franchise expired.
On his Instagram account, on Tuesday “thanked” Calida and the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) for their contribution to the country, which is already facing labor problems due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Hindi man ako kasing talino ng iba, alam ko at malinaw sa akin na mali at kawalang katarungan ang tanggalan ng hanapbuhay ang ilang libong empleyado,” Martin said.
[I may not be as smart as others, but I know and it’s clear to me that what the government did is wrong and it is an injustice to strip thousands of employees of their jobs.]
“Maraming maraming salamat Solicitor General Joe Calida at sa bumubuo ng National Telecommunications Commission sa kontribusyon niyo sa ating bayan! Tinatarantado ninyo ang mga Pilipino!” he said.
[Thank you very much, Solicitor General Joe Calida and those who make up the National Telecommunications Commission for your contribution to the country. You’re making a fool out of Filipinos!]
Meanwhile, actress Angel Locsin, who has been vocal about the government’s several policies, also aired her side against people who rejoice at the sight of ABS-CBN’s broadcast being stopped.
“Sa lahat ng nagmamagaling at nagsasabi na ‘buti nga nagsara ang ABS’, sana masarap ang tulog ninyo ngayon gabi at nakapagbayad na ng bills. Sana rin masarap rin ang mga napamalengke ninyo na ipapakain sa inyong pamilya. Sana walang magkasakit na kailangan ipagamot at gastusan,” Locsin said.
[Those who think highly of themselves and say that it’s good that ABS-CBN closed down, I hope you can sleep well tonight and that you have paid your bills. I hope you enjoy doing the groceries which you would give to your family. I hope no one gets sick and needs medication that would incur expenses.]
While Calida might not have been directly involved in the NTC decision to release the cease-and-desist order, various sectors believe he did have a hand in it.
Days before the order was issued, Calida warned NTC that it could not issue ABS-CBN provisional authority to operate even if the House of Representatives, which forms part of Congress that renews franchises, had requested it to do so.
Before Calida’s warning, NTC Deputy Commissioner Edgardo Cabarios said that the broadcast companies could operate with provisional authority while Congress still deliberating on their franchise renewal, but it was impossible for ABS-CBN to do so as there were questions on the validity of its franchise.
Cabarios did not explicitly mention what kind of questions were raised. But last February, Calida filed a quo warranto petition against ABS-CBN alleging that it hid its foreign ownership and investments behind a corporate veil.
The network has been repeatedly criticized by President Rodrigo Duterte for its alleged biased coverage of him and for its failure to air his advertisements in the 2016 presidential elections. Duterte had also repeatedly said that he would see to it that the network would be shut down.
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