MANILA--The head of the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) on Friday said he believes that the denial of ABS-CBN's new franchise application by House members does not mean the country's biggest media network has met its demise.
"I don't think this is going to be the end of ABS-CBN. The content of ABS-CBN are fantastic. I know you've converted yourself not just as a broadcasting company but more of a content creator," Ruperto "Jun" Nicdao Jr. said.
Members of the House Committee on Legislative Franchises earlier on Friday voted to deny the new broadcast franchise for ABS-CBN, a move deemed by many as part of a worsening crackdown on press freedom.
Nicdao added that due to the denial of ABS-CBN's franchise, the development of the network's digital platform could "accelerate."
"I think a lot of ABS-CBN's followers will follow you [ABS-CBN] in those platforms," he said.
Nicdao, however, said that closure of ABS-CBN's broadcast operations will still be a "big loss" to Filipino viewers nationwide.
"We will definitely miss ABS-CBN's service," he added.
ABS-CBN Integrated News chief Ging Reyes, meanwhile, said that this blow to the network isn't the end of the company, urging colleagues to soldier on and continue to be of service to Filipinos.
"Alam niyo, sinusubok tayo. Sinusubok ang ating values at ang ating paninindigan. Ganito yata talaga kapag meron tayong pinaglalaban. Talagang kailangan kang matalo para bumangon ka uli at magtagumpay," she said.
According to Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, Congress, dominated by President Rodrigo Duterte's allies, has the "sole prerogative" on the franchise renewal of ABS-CBN.
"The Palace has maintained a neutral stance on the issue as it respects the separation of powers between the two co-equal branches government," Roque said in a statement.
Duterte, however, had threatened the network multiple times over allegations of political partisanship, declaring last December that he would "see to it that" ABS-CBN will be "out".
news.abs-cbn.com is the official news website of ABS-CBN Corp.