Revillame tells Roque: ABS-CBN is in my heart despite being in rival network
MANILA, Philippines – Actor and television host Willie Revillame has clarified that ABS-CBN remains a part of his heart despite now working for its rival network, as the beleaguered media company remains shut down.
Revillame made the remark during a portion of his “Wowowin” program in GMA after presidential spokesperson Harry Roque — who was his guest in the program — teased him about having something to do with the shutdown in order for him to totally dominate the airwaves.
“For the first time ever, you are the only person on television screens nationwide. You know my hunch is that I think you have a role in why the other network lost its franchise. Come on, admit it,” Roque said teasingly in Filipino.
But the controversial actor, who started his career with ABS-CBN and blossoming into one of their top noontime show hosts during the late 90s and early 2000s before their fallout, avoided talking about the plight of the network.
“Sec, I am greatly indebted to that station. That is where I started my career. That is where I became famous. In my heart, it is still there. Kapamilya, Kapatid, Kapuso — all of the Filipinos are there,” Revillame told Roque.
“Sec, do not drag me into that issue. I might be bashed when I am actually silent,” Revillame added before bursting into laughter.
Roque still continued to tease Revillame about being the top program in the pre-primetime slot, but the latter diverted the topic into Roque explaining the government’s COVID-19 response and the definition of various confusing terms.
“Sec, let’s not talk about that. We would not talk about any franchise. What we would discuss today is the future that we are facing amid the COVID-19 pandemic,” a chuckling Revillame said.
ABS-CBN stopped its free television and radio operations after the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) issued a cease-and-desist order (CDO) after the network’s franchise expired — despite the body assuring Congress that a provisional authority would be given to ensure continuous operation.
NTC reasoned out that they could not allow ABS-CBN to continue operating while the franchise was being deliberated by Congress — unlike other broadcasting firms in the past — because questions on the validity of the media giant’s franchise were posed.
However, they did not explicitly attribute the CDO to the quo warranto petition filed by Solicitor General Jose Calida against ABS-CBN last February for allegedly hiding foreign ownership behind corporate veils.
But in a Senate hearing earlier, NTC Commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba admitted that the quo warranto was a factor in the release of the CDO. Days before ABS-CBN was asked to cease operations, Calida wrote a letter to NTC advising them not to release a provisional authority as it is against the law,
As of now, the possible renewal of ABS-CBN’s 25-year franchise — instead of a partial one — is being discussed in Congress although its management warned that they might be forced to layoff people because of financial losses.
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