MANILA — Comedy superstar Vice Ganda was taking part in a caravan in support of the franchise renewal of ABS-CBN on Friday, when the House panel voted to deny the network's return to air.
"Buhay natin 'to," Vice Ganda told ABS-CBN News' Mario Dumaual, just moments after the decision was released. "Buhay ko, buhay niyo, buhay ng audience, buhay ng madlang people, buhay ng mga Kapamilya, buhay nating mga Pilipino. Buhay natin ito."
The "It's Showtime" host, who has been a Kapamilya since 2009, emphasized ABS-CBN as being ingrained in Filipino culture, in light of its legacy of public service, news, and entertainment.
"Ang ABS-CBN, ang serbisyong ibinigay niya ay naging malaking bahagi ng araw-araw na buhay ng mga Pilipino. Napakalaking bahagi," he said.
"Tungkol ito sa ating lahat. Hindi ito tungkol lang sa mga taga-ABS-CBN, sa mga artista. Tungkol ito sa ating lahat. Tungkol ito sa buhay natin," Vice Ganda said.
The vote of the House Committee on Legislative Franchises effectively shuts down ABS-CBN for good, over two months since it was issued a cease-and-desist order by the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) over an expired franchise.
ABS-CBN had been trying to renew its original 25-year franchise since 2014, but faced several roadblocks, especially under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte, who had repeatedly promised to close it down.