As several personalities denounced ABS-CBN shutdown on their respective social media accounts, veteran journalist and magazine show host Korina Sanchez stood out after she expressed her witty and scathing comments on Instagram.
The country’s largest broadcasting company signed off the air on May 5 in compliance with the National Telecommunication Commission’s cease-and-desist-order because its franchise lapsed.
ABS-CBN’s talents and reporters took to social media to oppose the closure of their home network, with majority of them citing the plight of the thousands of workers who lost their jobs amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
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Talaga? Ano namang, excuse me, abuso ito? SolGen Joe Calida used to be very close to my Mom Celia Sanchez. They attend the same Bible Study. Sino na kaya ngayon ang Diyos ni Calida? Pilit pinapasarado ang ABSCBN kahit labag sa batas? Kelan at paano kaya pwede ipakulong ang mga totoong abusado? Sharing with you the opinion of Congressman Alvarez. Nasa Congress na ngayon ang bola. They are expected to do the right and Godly thing: STATEMENT OF CONG. FRANZ ‘CHICOY’ ALVAREZ We have recently been made aware of efforts by the Solicitor General to pressure the National Telecommunications Commission to go against the ruling of the Department of Justice, which states that ABS-CBN may continue to broadcast while Congress deliberates on the renewal of its franchise. We would like to make it clear that Congress takes this matter very seriously, as it directly challenges our exclusive Constitutional authority to grant, deny, extend, revoke or modify broadcast franchises. Including having the primary jurisdiction to make an initial determination whether an application for a legislative franchise should be granted or denied. Having already begun the deliberations on ABS-CBN’s application for renewal of its franchise before Congress adjourned in March, the Committee on Legislative Franchises will not be dictated upon by any individual or agency as to the manner, schedule, and conduct of it’s official business. Consistent with precedents, the Committee enjoined the National Telecommunications Commission to allow ABS-CBN to operate until such time that the House of Representatives makes a final decision on the application. This is necessary to allow Congress sufficient time to assess the qualifications of the applicant and make a complete review of the positions of the different stakeholders. Particularly since there are many voices for and against the renewal. The power of Congress to legislate is complete, full, and plenary. A legislative franchise is a law and by deciding whether to grant or deny a franchise, it is passing a law and making policy. The Solicitor General should have the decency to give Congress this courtesy to complete the exercise of its power.
In her Instagram account, Sanchez shared the social media card of the news report on the network closure, accompanied by a lengthy caption of her opinion. She called out Solicitor General Jose Calida, whom she claimed her mother was personally close to.
“Talaga? Ano namang, excuse me, abuso ito? SolGen Joe Calida used to be very close to my Mom Celia Sanchez. They attend the same Bible Study. Sino na kaya ngayon ang Diyos ni Calida?” Sanchez said.
“Pilit pinapasarado ang ABS–CBN kahit labag sa batas? Kelan at paano kaya pwede ipakulong ang mga totoong abusado?” she added.
Sanchez also shared the lengthy statement of Rep. Franz Alvarez (Palawan 1st district), who likewise held Calida accountable.
“The Solicitor General should have the decency to give Congress this courtesy to complete the exercise of its power,” Alvarez said in the statement.
The post did not sit well on some Filipinos who support the NTC’s decision to close ABS-CBN. They attempted to argue with Sanchez on the comments section.
The veteran journalist, in turn, took her time to reply to some of them. Social media users took screenshots of these clap-backs and poked fun at them online.
The most popular among them was her reply to a user questioning her post, saying: “Anong abuso? Wala na kayong franchise! That’s it!”
She responded: “Please leave. Bruha ka.”
I live for mature clapbacks pic.twitter.com/rvPcbaQQMB
— Sani (@sanriel) May 5, 2020
Twitter page @MaisonLemons even made a graphic of the screenshot of Sanchez’s comment. Her billboard photo for Belo Medical Group was used with her popular line: “Handa na ba kayo?”
This catch phrase was part of the lyrics of the opening theme song of ABS-CBN’s long-running TV magazine show “Rated K,” which Sanchez hosts.
— Maison Lemons (@MaisonLemons) May 5, 2020
Facebook page Youth for Chel Diokno, a youth community dedicated to help the senatorial bid of lawyer Chel Diokno, also shared a compilation of other funny remarks on the comments section of Sanchez’s Instagram post.
Other online users also shared screenshot of Sanchez’s tweet and praising her for her “frank” remark.
— nomnomsequitur (@desynchronosis) May 6, 2020
Korina Sanchez is my spirit animal! 💯 pic.twitter.com/v3taPVKQzv
— Juan Karlos (@iamsuperjcboy) May 6, 2020
In a virtual interview on Friday, Sanchez shared that she is aware of the comments of the public following her “savage” remark.
She said that her remarks just reflected that feisty “side” of her, citing it has been her “persona” and “mandate”.
“Maybe the netizens and the millennial today have not been very exposed to that because that was my persona prior to their birth,” Sanchez told CNN Philippines‘ “The Source.”
“Alam mo naman na ang job description ko for 25 years. My mandate really was to slay, sister. Alam mo ‘yan,” she added.
However, the broadcast journalist and TV host said that doesn’t capture her whole identity.
“It’s not like that’s the entire me,” Sanchez said, adding that she laid low when she got married and had kids.
“I kinda bowed out on front-line news in ABS-CBN. I kinda put that persona to past and medyo binaon ko na siya sa lupa because decidedly I’ve wanted my social media to be all about just my best life,” the TV host said.
“I made it very clear to my team that I just want to be positive. I want peace in my life. Alam mo naman ‘pag medyo palaban ka marami kang kaaway,” she added.
Sanchez said that her followers might just be surprised of that persona. She said she felt the need to speak up and stand up for the ABS-CBN closure.
She also said she still felt “at a loss” over the shutdown of her home network although she was not very surprised.
“I think its because I just finally decided in a second when ABS closed. It did not had to be closed. There’s no reason to be closed, that’s my opinion. We have to speak we have to tell it as it is. There’s no bones about it… You can’t be quiet,” she said.
Sanchez said that the network’s sudden shutdown, the first time since September 1972, is a “big deal.” She said that it’s a “defining moment in history where it cannot be gray.”
The broadcast journalist said that she only answer the online users in the same manner they reach out to her.
“Why do I answer? E papano ganon din ang lenggwahe nila.Alam mo kung katapat ko ay Chinese— Kung marunong ako mag-Chinese, mag-Chinese din ako,” Sanchez said.
“‘Pag kausap ko ‘yung mga anak ko, si Pepe and Pilar, I will talk to them in a manner they can grasp,” she added.
Asked if she gets annoyed by the online users’ remarks, Sanchez said she’s not and said that she is entertained.
“‘Yung mga sagot ko sakanila gusto ko lang din silang aliwin,” Sanchez said.
Congress should take this seriously
On a serious note, Sanchez said that all eyes are now set on the members of Congress who are expected to act on the ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal bills.
Prior to the network’s closure, ten bills have already been filed seeking a fresh 25-year franchise in the 18th Congress.
“I happen to believe that what they do now and the choices that they make will define them. This moment in history will be in esteemed journals, it will be online forever. This is also what will define their children and their families will carry (this) forever. Do the right thing and stand for something that they believe in,” Sanchez said.