MANILA (UPDATE)—Kapamilya news anchor Noli de Castro on Thursday said farewell on TeleRadyo as he sets his sights on a political comeback in the 2022 elections.
"Sorry to say na ito ho ang huling araw ko na dito sa TeleRadyo for so many years," he said in his morning program "Kabayan".
(Sorry to say this but this is my last day in Teleradyo after so many years.)
De Castro, who served as vice president in 2004, is returning to politics after an 11-year break.
He is set to run for senator under Aksyon Demokratiko party of Mayor Franciso Isko Moreno Domagoso, who is running for president in next year’s elections.
This is De Castro's second time to run for senator. He topped the 2001 senatorial election, garnering over 16 million votes, but did not finish his 6-year term after winning the vice-presidency 3 years later.
"Ako po'y makikipagsapalaran sa bagong uri ng panunungkulan o public service pero tuloy-tuloy ho ang ating public service," he said.
"Medyo itong pagkakataon na ito, mas magiging malawak na po ang isasagawa kong public service kung susuwertehen sa tulong na rin po ninyo."
(I will embark on a new type of service or public service. But this time, it will be wide if I'm lucky through also your help.)
As a senator, he authored 252 bills and resolutions, including the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2002, Balikbayan Law of 2002, Quarantine Act and Newborn Screening Test Act of 2001.
He did not finish his 6-year term in the upper House after winning the vice-presidency in 2004, as running-mate of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
De Castro, more popularly known as "Kabayan," returned to broadcasting in 2010 at the end of his term.
He anchored ABS-CBN's prime time newscast "TV Patrol" and hosted a radio morning program on TeleRadyo.
Before entering politics, the veteran journalist, whose full name is Manuel Leuterio de Castro, Jr., started his broadcasting career as a field reporter in RPN in 1976.
He transferred to ABS-CBN in 1986 as segment host of "Good Morning, Philippines."
He then anchored various television and radio shows for the network, including the popular "Magandang Gabi, Bayan".
De Castro was born in Pola, Oriental Mindoro. He earned a degree in banking and finance from the University of the East.
As he announced his departure from TeleRadyo, he lamented he would be leaving the network, which ceased operations of its free TV and radio channels after its franchise application was denied by Congress.
It has been more than a year since 70 members of the House of Representatives’ Committee on Legislative Franchises, a panel dominated by administration allies, voted to reject ABS-CBN’s bid for a new franchise.
In the aftermath of the franchise rejection, De Castro said the network's headquarters had become like a "ghost town".
"Ngayon po wala ng bumabati sa akin. Wala na rin akong mabati dahil kung minsan maglalakad ako dito wala kang makakasalubong," he said.
(No one greets me anymore. I can't also do the same because when I come here no one is around.)
With the folding of several of its businesses, ABS-CBN was forced to implement a retrenchment program.
In August 2020, a total of 53 regional TV and radio stations bade farewell. Thousands also lost their jobs in the process.
ABS-CBN and its subsidiaries had a total of 11,071 employees, including those classified as independent contractors
At the end of 2020, the company disclosed it had only 5,932 employees, including independent contractors.
"Sana po ay makabawi kami sa mga darating na taon sa pamamagitan po ng inyong mga panalangin, na magbago ang ihip ng hangin sa mga congressman na uupo bilang bagong kongresista sa bagong Kongreso sa 2022," De Castro said.
(I hope we can recover in the years to come through your prayers that things will change in the new Congress in 2022.)