MANILA — Even before becoming a Kapamilya, screen veteran Sunshine Dizon was among the celebrities who rallied behind ABS-CBN amid the franchise crisis that resulted in its free-TV broadcast being shuttered.
Dizon, a former contract artist of GMA-7 for 25 years, had openly criticized the government on the issue of ABS-CBN’s franchise denial, mentioning the thousands who would lose their jobs, particularly during the coronavirus pandemic.
“‘Wag na tayong magbulag-bulagan. Kailangan nating ipaglaban ang ating kalayaan at protekatahan ang ating karapatang pantao,” she said at the time, also referring to the anti-terror law.
During a recent media conference introducing her as a new Kapamilya, Dizon said she still stands by her statement supporting ABS-CBN, and censuring the administration.
“It’s a very small industry,” she said, when asked to recall why she felt the need to speak up in support of a competing network at the time. “Sa totoo lang, kung puwede lang na wala na sanang barriers, at i-unite na natin ‘yung buong industry… If that is possible, bakit hindi?”
“At that time, I just really felt bad and I felt so down na there are thousands of people na nawalan ng trabaho, tapos ngayon pang pandemic,” she said.
ABS-CBN was forced off free television and radio broadcast on May 5, 2020, a day after its franchise was left to expire in the House of Representatives.
In July 2020, ABS-CBN’s application for a fresh 25-year franchise was rejected by a congressional panel, shuttering the network’s flagship business and leading to the retrenchment of thousands of its employees.
“If you cannot relate to that or sympathize with that, there must be something wrong with you,” Dizon said.
“Ako, I just took a stand. That’s what I felt and I believed, and still believe,” she added.
Dizon is also one of the active members of Aktor, an organization of Filipino actors which similarly issued a statement against the denial of ABS-CBN’s franchise application.
Dizon admittedly became the target of mudslinging when she voiced out her opinion on ABS-CBN’s franchise. But as she did then, she is also paying no heed to “bashers” in light of her network switch.
“Ang tagal ko na in the industry to know that we really cannot please everyone. I just hope na ‘yung mga taong may negativity pa sa katawan, alisin na nila, kasi nakaka-chaka ‘yan!” she quipped.
“I think it’s easier to just be grateful and happy for others. For our mental health, huwag na lang natin pansinin ‘yung mga nagne-nega-nega pa. Basta ako, I’m very happy right now that I’m still able to work, and on top of that, it’s a very good project,” Dizon said.
For her ABS-CBN debut, Dizon will star in the upcoming teleserye, “Marry Me, Marry You,” alongside Janine Gutierrez and Paulo Avelino.
Cameras will start rolling for the Dreamscape Entertainment production in mid-May, with a target release within the year.