Actress Liza Soberano made a public appeal to President Duterte on Thursday to reconsider his stance on the franchise renewal of her home network ABS-CBN, noting the employees who will be affected if its broadcast operations are forced to close.
Soberano and her real-life partner Enrique Gil lead the cast of the upcoming ABS-CBN series “Make It With You,” which will join the TV station’s primetime lineup starting January 13.
During a press conference for the series, the two were asked for their reaction to the expiration of ABS-CBN’s franchise in March, with one reporter noting that “Make It With You” would still likely be airing by March 30, 2020.
Duterte has repeatedly opposed the renewal of ABS-CBN’s franchise, citing among others the network's non-airing of his political advertisement in the May 2016 elections.
Under Republic Act No. 3846, radio and television broadcast companies are required to obtain a franchise from Congress. Once approved by both houses, a bill granting franchise renewal goes to the Office of the President.
“He is understanding, I believe,” Soberano said. “Alam niya namang maraming maaapektuhan… It’s not just the company itself, but all the employees. I’m sure he has a generous heart and an understanding heart.”
“I hope he wakes up one morning and he thinks about it again, and maging bukas ‘yung puso niya sa lahat ng smaller employees na nangangailangan ng trabaho,” she said.
Mark Angos, one of the writers of “Make It With You,” added that while they are not “privy to the details” of the franchise renewal, ABS-CBN management is “always there assuring us, making sure na anuman ang mangyari, magka-kapamilya kami dito sa ABS-CBN, and we will be taken care of.”
“The management is asking us to focus on and do what we do best, which is to give entertainment, and magpasaya ng maraming pamilyang Pilipino,” Angos said.