Filipinos back ABS-CBN chief after message on looming franchise expiration

February 21, 2020 - 12:28 PM
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Carlo Katigbak
Screengrab of ABS-CBN president and chief executive officer Carlo Katigbak on his video message about the network's looming franchise expiration delivered Feb. 20, 2020. (Screengrab from ABS-CBN News via YouTube)

Some Filipinos showed their support to ABS-CBN president and chief executive officer Carlo Katigbak after he delivered a televised statement about the looming franchise expiration for the first time.

The media executive expressed gratitude for the opportunity that was given to the company to serve through its different platforms and foundations.

He also said that the network will have the chance to answer allegations and face issues about its congressional franchise and its renewal.

“Wala po kaming nakikitang dahilan para hindi magtuloy ang paglilingkod ng ating ABS-CBN. Gayun pa man, kami ay handang sumunod sa anumang proseso na dapat pagdaanan ayon sa batas,” Katigbak said in his speech.

He admitted that while the company’s mission is to serve Filipinos, it has its own shortcomings, which they are ready to face and correct at all costs.

“Sa aming mga mambabatas, nasa inyong kamay po ang kinabukasan ng ABS-CBN. Nagtitiwala po kami sa sinasabi ninyo na mabibigyan kami ng pagkakataong sagutin ang mga katanungan ng mga mamamayan,” the executive continued.

RELATED: ABS-CBN president: Company may not be perfect, but no reason to stop its services

Katigbak also thanked his fellow ABS-CBN employees for their endless hard work and devotion to serve Filipinos in many ways and promised them they will continue to be of service to the public.

“Para sa napakadaming nagpahayag ng suporta sa ABS-CBN, maraming maraming salamat po. Ang mga pahayag ninyo ay nagbibigay sa amin ng tibay ng loob at lakas, lalong lalo na sa oras ng matinding pagsubok,” he said.

“Asahan niyo po na ipaglalaban namin ang pagkakataong ituloy ang serbisyo sa inyo. Sa mga darating na araw, hinihingi po namin ang inyong panalangin na magtutuloy ang ating pagsasama. Sa ABS-CBN po, naniniwala kami na Family is Forever,” Katigbak added.

‘Fight!’ 

Some Filipinos backed Katigbak up and sent messages of gratitude and support to the embattled network, which has been on the receiving end of the government’s threats and verbal assaults since 2017.

“Kapuso ang buong pamilya namin pero hindi namin gustong magsara ang ABS-CBN, mismong mga Kapuso anchor at ilang actors ay nakikisimpatya sa Kapamilya. (Nakaka-touch) ang video ni Pres. & CEO, well done sir, & goodluck. Mga Pilipino tayo, kasama niyo kami sa laban na ito,” a Twitter user said.

“I can see how sincere Mr. Carlo Katigbak utter his statement last night regarding on the said issue. Praying for ABS-CBN’s continuous operation til’ the upcoming decades,” another user wrote.

A commenter likewise supported Katigbak and said that she has been “waiting” for his statement on the matter.

“Fight!” she wrote as she shared the media executive’s video message on social media.

“Sir Carlo Katigbak, salute to you, sir. Thank you for standing beside the 11,000 employees of ABS-CBN,” another Twitter user said.

Several high-profile personalities of the network have previously expressed their support for the franchise renewal, as well as talents from its rival network GMA.

ABS-CBN’s franchise to operate its television and radio broadcasting arm is set to expire by March 30, 2020. It needs to be renewed through the Congress to continue its broadcast services.

It was recently targeted by the administration through the Office of the Solicitor General when it filed a quo warranto petition against the network followed by a gag order to further prevent its media representatives from publicly talking about the matter.

ABS-CBN has been receiving threats and verbal assaults from President Rodrigo Duterte since 2017, who has repeatedly accused the media giant of supposed biased reporting and “swindling” in relation to his presidential campaign, among others.