'Tratuhin niyo naman kaming mga tao': ABS-CBN retrenchment because of politicians, not pandemic, Angelica Panganiban clarifies

Miguel Dumaual, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 17 2020 05:48 PM

'Banana Sundae,' the 12-year-old gag show whose cast and crew are seen here, was among the first ABS-CBN programs to be halted in June amid uncertainties then surrounding the network's franchise, on top of the coronavirus pandemic. Angelica Panganiban was one of its original mainstays. Instagram: @iamangelicap

MANILA — Actress Angelica Panganiban broke her silence Friday amid the retrenchment of ABS-CBN employees, after her home network of 28 years was denied a broadcast franchise by the Duterte administration.

In a series of tweets, Panganiban spoke out against the government's shutdown of the Philippines' largest broadcast network, whose thousands of employees now face layoffs as ABS-CBN struggles to survive.

"Nanahimik dahil hindi kayang buuin ng salita ang nararamdaman ko. Galit, takot, pangangamba. Ilang buwan nang nag-iisip paano na ang kasamahan namin sa trabaho. Ang pamilya nila. At dumating na ang araw na napakahirap tanggapin," she wrote.

Panganiban, 33, was part of "Banana Sundae," the 12-year-old gag show, which was among the first ABS-CBN programs to be halted temporarily in June amid uncertainties surrounding the network's franchise, on top of the coronavirus pandemic. Now, that break has become permanent.

"Serbisyo para sa bayan ang dapat na inuuna ng mambabatas natin," Panganiban wrote. "Sa ginawa nila, sarili nila ang inuna nila. Sa totoo lang, hindi po namin responsibilidad ang mga empleyado na nawalan ng trabaho. Pero nandito kami. Nagsasalita, para sa kanila. Bakit? Kasi siguro 'yun ang makatao."

Despite several government agencies clearing ABS-CBN of supposed violations — from labor practices to broadcasting — the House committee on legislative franchises voted, 70-11, to kill the franchise application of the network, shuttering it for good.

Angelica Panganiban, a Kapamilya since age 6, hugs ABS-CBN of Broadcast Cory Vidanes during her contract renewal in June 2019. FILE/ABS-CBN.com

Addressing those who appear to be rejoicing over the broadcast closure of ABS-CBN, Panganiban wrote: "Tratuhin niyo naman kaming mga tao. Kaming lahat na nawalan ng trabaho. Nawalan ng tahanan. Paano niyo kayang sikmurain na pagtawanan ang kapwa ninyo Pilipino na nawalan ng kabuhayan? Pilipino sa kapwa Pilipino na ang naglalaban laban. Tama pa ba yon?"

"Hindi namin ikakamatay ang masasakit ninyong salita laban sa amin. Pero, ikakamatay ng marami sa kasamahan ko at ng mga pamilya nila ang gutom na mararanasan nila sa mga darating na araw. Tapos na ang panahon para matakot."

Answering a follower who mentioned that many Filipinos are jobless, too, because of the pandemic, Panganiban pointed out that the retrenchment of ABS-CBN employees was not caused by the health crisis, but by the deliberate actions of politicians.

"Magka-iba ang nawalan ng trabaho dahil sa pandemya. Iba rin ang pinagtulungan para sa kani-kanilang pang sariling interes, kaya nawalan ng trabaho. Nakakabit pa ba mga ulo niyo sa katawan niyo?"