On Tuesday, during the House of Representatives’ Congressional hearing, ABS-CBN Corporation President and CEO Carlo Katigbak appealed for a franchise renewal and reiterated that they did not violate any laws.
ABS-CBN claimed that its 11,000 workers are “suffering” because of the shutdown of their network, they also responded to critics saying that “The law is the law”.
Katigbak told the members of the house panel that ABS-CBN is family to him, and for the past weeks his family is suffering.
“Ang ABS-CBN po ay aking pamilya, isang pamilya ng labing-isang taong naghahangad na magserbisyo sa bayan. Sa lumipas na mga linggo nagdurusa ang pamilya ko. Nag-aalala sila na mawawalan sila ng trabaho, natatakot sila para sa kanilang kinabukasan at sa kinabukasan ng kanilang mga mahal sa buhay.”
Katigbak also addressed netizens who say that they are only asking for pity.
“Hindi po kami nagpapaawa, umaapela po kami. Ibalik niyo po ang ABS-CBN para maprotektahan namin ang 11,000 kong kapamilya at ang kanilang mga minamahal sa buhay.”
Katigbak also said that even though they want to protect their employees at all costs, if ABS-CBN continues to be off the air, they will be forced to release a list of those who will lose their jobs.
“We want to do everything to protect our employees, pero may kakayahan din ang kompanya namin. Habang wala kame sa ere, palaki ng palaki ang nalulugi saamin. At sa mga darating na linggo, mapipilitan na kaming maglabas ng listahan ng mga empleyadong mawawalan ng trabaho.“
ABS-CBN claimed that they are losing 30 to 35 million every day due to the broadcast shutdown.
“Sana makita po ng kongreso, na nasa kapangyarihan ninyo ang kinabukasan nila,” Katigbak told the congress.
Replying to those who said that “The law is the law,” Katigbak said, “We agree, but under the law, we are innocent unless proven guilty.”
Katigbak also reiterated that no court has proven that they have broken any law. He then cited statements from BIR, SEC, DOJ, and DOLE to prove that they did not violate any law.
The network stopped airing since May 5, after the “cease and desist” order released by National Telecommunications Commission due to alleged violation of the franchise and the law.
Katigbak also said that during the lockdown, their Pantawid Pag-ibig campaign continued to assist people affected by the COVID-19 crisis.
“Naniniwala po kami, ang pagbigay ng isang prangkisa ay nakasalalay sa serbisyong naibibigay sa taong bayan. ABS-CBN deserves a future only if it has made your lives better,” he said.
“Hinihingi po namin na bigyan ng prangkisa ang ABS-CBN. Tapat po kaming naglilingkod sa bayan sa mahabang panahon. Wala po kaming nilabag na batas. At nangangako po kami na patuloy kaming magsusumikap na maging mas mabuting kumpanya,” he said.