MANILA — Sagip party-list Rep. Rodante Marcoleta responded on Thursday to a personal message he and his wife received from ABS-CBN stars Liza Soberano and Enrique Gil, who appealed to him to reconsider his stand against the network.
Marcoleta, one of the staunchest critics of ABS-CBN in the House panel hearing on its franchise, addressed the onscreen and real-life couple during his summation speech, ahead of an expected vote that would determine the fate of the network.
"Gusto ko pong pasalamatan, bago ako magtapos, si Enrique Gil at Liza Soberano, sa pagbati at pamamanhik na ipinaabot nila sa aming mag-asawa," Marcoleta said.
In a previous hearing, Marcoleta mentioned that his wife is a fan of "Make It With You," the now-defunct ABS-CBN primetime series that starred Soberano and Gil, which the lawmaker would also watch regularly.
The couple dubbed "LizQuen," in a video message, thanked Marcoleta and his wife for supporting "Make It With You," and then called on the congressman to consider supporting, too, the franchise renewal of ABS-CBN.
"Naramdaman ko ang kanilang katapatan," Marcoleta said on Thursday. "Sana po ganoon ang ABS-CBN." (See the 26:20 mark of the video below.)
"Sa kanilang dalawa, alam kong mauunawaan nila, na ito po ay tawag lang ng tungkulin. At hinahangad ko ang higit na tagumpay para sa kanila sa mga darating na panahon."
Soberano, 22, has been one of the most vocal personalities calling for the restoration of ABS-CBN on air, citing the loss of access to entertainment and information for many Filipinos amid a pandemic, as well as the impact on the job security of some 11,000 employees.
"Make It With You" was one of the ABS-CBN programs that were cancelled as the network grappled with its forced shutdown, on top of the coronavirus pandemic that halted industries.
ABS-CBN's free-TV and radio broadcast have been off air since May 5, when the government issued a cease and desist order a day after the network's franchise was left to expire despite an application first filed in Congress back in 2014. Further broadcast platforms of ABS-CBN were ordered shut in June — TVPlus and SKYdirect.
On Thursday, the House Committee on Legislative Franchises held summations of the last 12 hearings on ABS-CBN's franchise renewal. Voting was expected after the summations, determining whether the ABS-CBN franchise bills would go through to plenary deliberations.