MANILA — Actor Enchong Dee is urging fellow Kapamilya stars to use their voice for smaller ABS-CBN employees, amid a wave of a retrenchment after the network was denied a broadcast franchise by the Duterte administration.
"I've been fighting for my country since I was 13," Dee, a champion swimmer who competed internationally, wrote on Instagram early this week. "Hindi madali at walang kasiguraduhan pero masarap sa puso."
"I will do the same for the company which I called home for 15 years. Hindi ako titigil sa pananalita laban sa kasamaan na pumapaligid satin. Being bashed is a small price to pay to be in the right side of history," he added.
Dee, 31, is a contract artist of ABS-CBN's Star Magic. He made his showbiz breakthrough in 2009, as one of the lead stars of the teleserye "Katorse."
He has been an outspoken critic of the Duterte administration, in the process becoming the target of mudslinging from loyal supporters of the president.
"Sa mga kasamahan ko sa ABS-CBN, kasama niyo ko hanggang muling magbukas ang tahanan natin," he said. "At sa mga kapwa ko artista, hindi ito ang oras para manahimik, maging totoo tayo sa salitang #kapamilya."
When a follower commented that Dee shouldn't "pressure" his fellow ABS-CBN artists to speak out, the actor highlighted the importance of representing employees whose voices don't have a wide reach, unlike those in front of the cameras.
"We have to start thinking beyond ourselves, our voice is not for us but for the others who have nothing, those who live paycheck to paycheck," he replied.
ABS-CBN started this week its retrenchment process affecting thousands of workers and entire divisions, after Duterte allies in Congress voted, 70-11, to kill the franchise application of the network, shuttering it for good.
In the past few months, many ABS-CBN personalities, including Dee, have voiced their support for the network, with some even joining demonstrations to call for the restoration of the network on air. A number of its stars, however, have also noticeably kept silent.
"I am not shading, I am calling for their support," Dee said. "I can go on with my life without this job but I couldn't speak for the utility personnel, the wardrobe, the makeup artists, the staff, the crew, which all artists get to work with everyday."
"I'm calling for their support because I know that my colleagues have enough influence to make things right. Again, this is beyond oneself."