‘Kapit lang:’ Katigbak comforts ABS-CBN supporters, workers after losing franchise bid
MANILA, Philippines — ABS-CBN Chief Executive Officer Carlo Katigbak gave words of encouragement to supporters and employees of the network, reminding them that the battle has not yet ended following the House panel’s verdict to deny their application for a new 25-year franchise.
Katigbak made a statement an hour after the House committee on legislative franchise struck down on Friday a bill that would have granted ABS-CBN a new franchise.
According to him, they are deeply hurt by the panel ‘s decision as they believe ABS-CBN has served Filipinos sincerely.
“Labis po kaming nasasaktan sa desisyon ng committee on legislative franchises na tanggihan ang franchise ng ABS-CBN. Naniniwala kaming nakapagbigay kami ng serbisyong makabuluhan at mahalaga sa mga Pilipino,” Katigbak said.
“Inaasahan namin ang araw na tayo ay magkakasamang muli. Mga kapamilya, maraming salamat na patuloy kayong nagtiwala, sumuporta, nagdasal, at lumalaban kasama namin. May natanggap akong mensahe sa social media na nagsabi, kapit lang, muling magliliwanag ang kwento ng bawat Pilipino,” he added.
Earlier, after a series of grueling hearings, the committee denied the franchise application of ABS-CBN after 70 of the lawmakers moved to adopt the technical working group’s report denying the bill. Another 11 lawmakers voted against the report, while two inhibited and one abstained.
Despite the decision, Katigbak thanked the House Committee for giving them the opportunity to defend themselves against charges brought against them.
“Gayunpaman, nagpapasalamat kami sa komite para sa pagkakataong maipahayag ang aming panig sa mga issue laban sa amin. Nagpapasalamat ang ABS-CBN sa aming mga sponsors na nanindigan para mabigyan kami ng prangkisa at sa mga mambabatas na nagsalita para sa amin sa mga pagdinig,” he said.
“Habang buhay kaming nagpapasalamat sa inyo, nagpapasalamat din kami sa lahat ng nagpahayag ng suporta at nag-alay ng dasal para sa amin. Hindi namin kakayanin ang lahat ng ito kung wala kayo,” he added.
ABS-CBN ‘s troubles began after the National Telecommunications Commission issued a termination order against the network after its previous franchise expired last May 4.
The NTC’s order came in spite of previous assurances to the Congress last February that ABS-CBN would continue to air. NTC Deputy Commissioner Edgardo Cabarios confirmed the order came after concerns were raised about the legitimacy of the network’s franchise.
Cabarios did not specifically state what particular concerns were presented against the franchise, but Solicitor General Jose Calida filed a quo warrant complaint against ABS-CBN last February for allegedly hiding foreign ownership behind a corporate veil. [ac]