MANILA - ABS-CBN Corp. President and Chief Executive Officer Carlo Katigbak said Thursday the country's largest broadcast network will be given a chance "in the coming days" to answer allegations and clarify issues, amid threats and attempts to shut it down.
"Mabibigyan kami ng pagkakataong linawin ang mga isyu tungkol sa aming prangkisa. Wala po kaming nakikitang dahilan para hindi magtuloy ang paglilingkod ng ating ABS-CBN (We will be given a chance to clear issues regarding our franchise. We don't see any reason to stop ABS-CBN's service)," Katigbak said in a televised statement.
"Gayun pa man, kami ay handang sumunod sa anumang proseso na dapat pagdaanan ayon sa batas."
(Nonetheless, we are ready to follow any process to undergo according to law.)
ABS-CBN has been faithfully serving Filipinos for 65 years, he added.
"Sa lahat po ng aming pinaglilingkuran, isang karangalan po na kami'y naging bahagi ng inyong tahanan at ng inyong pamilya. Sana po ang aming mga programa ay nagbibigay ng impormasyon, saya, pag-asa at inspirasyon sa inyo. Sana po nakatulong sa inyo ang mga serbisyo publiko ng ABS-CBN Foundation tulad ng Bantay Bata at Sagip Kapamilya," Katigbak said.
(To all those whom we are serving, it's an honor for us to be part of your home and family. We hope that our programs give information, joy, hope, and inspiration to you. We hope that public services by the ABS-CBN Foundation like Bantay Bata and Sagip Kapamilya have helped you.)
He said ABS-CBN had its own share of faults.
"Nagkakamali din po kami at handa po naming itama ang anumang pagkukulang. Kasama ito sa proseso ng pagiging isang mas matatag na kumpanya."
(We also make mistakes and we are ready to correct any fault. This is part of building a sturdy company.)
Katigbak said the future of ABS-CBN "is in the hands" of the members of Congress.
"Nagtitiwala po kami sa sinasabi ninyo na mabibigyan kami ng pagkakataong sagutin ang mga katanungan ng mga mamamayan. Dinarasal din namin na makita ninyo ang mga kabutihang naidulot ng ABS-CBN sa bawat pamilyang Pilipino," he said.
(We trust in your assurances that we will be given a chance to answer queries of our citizens. We pray that you also recognize the good ABS-CBN has done to each Filipino family.)
Katigbak also sent his gratitude to employees of ABS-CBN and its supporters.
"Para sa mga kapwa ko empleyado sa ABS-CBN…mga Kapamilya, salamat sa inyong sipag at katapatan sa patuloy na pagbibigay serbisyo sa kapwa Pilipino. Alam ko po kung gaano kahirap magtrabaho habang kayo ay nag-aalala sa inyong hanapbuhay at nangangamba sa kapakanan ng inyong mga pamilya. Asahan niyo po na gagawin namin lahat para matuloy ang serbisyo ng ABS-CBN.
(To my fellow employees in ABS-CBN, thank you for your diligence and loyalty in serving our fellow Filipinos. I know how hard it is to work while you are worried about your job and the future of your family. I assure you we will do our best for ABS-CBN to continue its service.)
"Para sa napakadaming nagpahayag ng suporta sa ABS-CBN, maraming maraming salamat po. Ang mga pahayag ninyo ay nagbibigay sa amin ng tibay ng loob at lakas, lalong lalo na sa oras ng matinding pagsubok. Asahan niyo po na ipaglalaban namin ang pagkakataong ituloy ang serbisyo sa inyo."
(For the many who gave their support to ABS-CBN, thank you very much. Your support is giving us fortitude and strength, especially in hard times. I assure you we will fight for the chance to continue serving you.)
He added: "Sa mga darating na araw, hinihingi po namin ang inyong panalangin na magtutuloy ang ating pagsasama. Sa ABS-CBN po, naniniwala kami na Family is Forever."
(In the coming days, we are asking for your prayers that our companionship will continue. In ABS-CBN, we believe that Family is Forever.)
Members of the ABS-CBN union on earlier Thursday appealed to President Rodrigo Duterte "to mediate and be involved on the process" of the franchise renewal.
"Despite the assurance from the House of Representatives that our renewal process on their chamber will be fair and equal, this is not the issue anymore. We are running out of time given that the Congress will only have until March 11 for their regular session before the House adjourns for their Holy Week break," said Raul De Asis, president of the Supervisors Union of ABS-CBN, in a statement.
"Our jobs in ABS-CBN is the one that provide our daily lives; who help us to finance the study of our younger siblings and children; payments to our homes; and even to the treatment of our sick parents.
"We would like you to listen to our collective voices. We are appealing that this message will help us all be enlightened on this matter."
Duterte, however, has repeatedly threatened to deny ABS-CBN a new franchise after the expiry of its current broadcast license on March 30 of this year, accusing the company of failing to air his campaign ads for the 2016 elections.
Last week, the country's top lawyer, Solicitor General Jose Calida, initiated a move to invalidate the current franchise of ABS-CBN by filing a quo warranto petition at the Supreme Court over alleged violations by the network in the terms of its franchise and of the foreign ownership regulation.
ABS-CBN has said it did not violate any law in its years of service.