MANILA - Megastar Sharon Cuneta urged President Rodrigo Duterte to "reconsider his decision" about ABS-CBN Corporation's franchise renewal, saying a lot of employees will lose "almost everything" should the Philippines' largest media network be forced to close.
Cuneta, who described herself as a "fan" of the President, gave the statement during a January 8, 2020 press conference held shortly after she signed a new contract with ABS-CBN.
"I hope he reconsiders his decision about ABS-CBN not just because I just renewed [my contract]. I can always find a job," she said, referring to Duterte's earlier pronouncements against renewing ABS-CBN's franchise set to expire in March.
"Everybody I grew up with here - who have remained loyal to the station and have grown up here having learned from the school of hard knocks here have become family and good friends - will lose almost everything they’ve built over the years," she said.
"I hope in my heart that our dear President reconsiders the thousands and thousands of employees who have grown up here, learned the ropes here, and that includes me," she said.
In 2018, Duterte expressed fondness for Cuneta, saying he was thankful to the Megastar for granting Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio's birthday wish back when the President's eldest daughter was still in elementary school.
"Si Inday (Sara), when she was [in] Grade 6, Grade 5, sabi ko: 'Anak, anong gusto mong birthday gift?' Sabi niya, 'Gusto ko magkasama kami ni Sharon Cuneta,'" Duterte said.
Duterte-Carpio, a self-confessed "Sharonian," reaffirmed her admiration for Cuneta by hosting a welcome dinner for the Megastar a day before her concert in Davao City.
Cuneta is married to opposition Sen. Francis Pangilinan, a staunch critic of Duterte.
Last month, the President- in a public speech - alleged that the veteran singer wanted to kick her senator-husband out of the house due to a marital spat.
Cuneta denied the rumor and clarified that "all is fine" in her marriage and family.
"Tatay (Duterte) likes to joke sometimes, as you all know, because Kiko’s in the Opposition. He has joked a few times against Kiko and about me in the past!" Cuneta earlier said.
Sharon Cuneta, Rodrigo Duterte, ABS-CBN franchise, Duterte, ABS-CBN franchise renewal