MANILA - Sen. Nancy Binay on Friday consoled ABS-CBN, saying the network's failure to secure a franchise from the House of Representatives will only make the Philippines' largest media and entertainment company "even stronger."
"The die may have been cast, but it's never the end," Binay said in a statement.
"To the ABS-CBN Family, what hurts you today will make you even stronger tomorrow," said the senator, who has written a book on bullying after her skin color and clothes were subjected to frequent online criticism.
After the National Telecommunications Commission shut down ABS-CBN's broadcast operations last month and the franchise rejection today, the public is now more aware of what is happening in the country, Binay said in a statement.
"They may have shut down the [ABS-CBN's] cameras, but the people now see things brighter through many new lenses," she said.
"Sa pagpapahinga sa ere ng ABS-CBN, higit na kailangan ng taumbayan ang mas malakas na boses para gisingin ang mga nagtutulog-tulugan, at sigawan ang mga nagbibingi-bingihan," she said, without naming any official.
(With ABS-CBN going off the air, the public, now more than ever, needs to have a louder voice to wake up those who pretend to be asleep and shout at those who pretend to be deaf.)
Binay earlier likened ABS-CBN's franchise woes to the plight of jeepney drivers during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis, saying the government has refused to listen to their appeals for help amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The senator has also criticized lawmakers who have been trying to get back at ABS-CBN for its critical reports against the government, saying that personal grudges should not have been raised during the franchise hearings.
Binay said that her family was also "unfairly" treated in some of ABS-CBN's news reports, especially when she first ran for senator in 2013, and when her family was linked to the construction of an allegedly overpriced parking building in their bailiwick Makati City.
But she added that media bias should not be used as basis to shut down a broadcast firm, especially during a global pandemic when access to information and job security are vital.
"I share the hurt and heartbreaks in every Filipino home, and the tears of more than 11,000 workers who were denied of hope," Binay said.
"Sa ngayon, tinapos na po nila (House) ang palabas. Inilabas na wala nang palabas," she said.
(For now, the House has ended its show. They have announced that ABS-CBN can no longer broadcast its shows.)
"But consider everything as a pause or an intermission. Tulad ng radyo't telebisyon, ipanalangin nating maibalik ang inyong mga paboritong programa makalipas itong malungkot na patalastas," she said.
(Just like in radio and television, let us pray that your favorite programs will return on air after this sad intermission.)