It looks like there are big things coming up from the now-disenfranchised ABS-CBN Corporation—at least, if Director Laurenti Dyogi is to be believed.
ABS-CBN’s head of TV production recently uploaded a vlog giving his more than 365,000 subscribers an update on the status of ABS-CBN.
At its heart is a message of hope; hope that ABS-CBN will be back on free TV soon. Hope that they can come back as a better TV network and that they are doing everything they can—especially in areas that can only be reached via free TV.
“Sa pinagdaanan naming ito, may mga pagbabago kaming kailangang harapin… things will be better for us,” said Dyogi in a heartfelt three-minute video.
The man known to Kapamilya employees as Direk Lauren talked about how ABS-CBN has been coping after the House Committee on Legislative Franchises rejected the renewal of their franchise.
“Patuloy ninyo kaming mapapanood sa iba’t ibang platform.” Granted, two of these platforms might be located behind a paywall (cable TV providers for the 24-hour Kapamilya Channel and I Want TFC), but they have covered their bases with the country’s two most popular platforms: Facebook and YouTube.
He compared ABS-CBN’s current story to one that’s used for TV, with a “character”—in this case, ABS-CBN—going through hardship in order to grow.
Dyogi ended his vlog by giving hope to Kapamilyas everywhere. “Samahan ninyo po ako sa aking next vlog kung saan pwede ko pang ikwento ang aming ginagawa sa kompanya. Ang aming ibang mga hakbang at pagtugon sa pangarap ng ating mga kababayan.”
You may recall that ABS-CBN went through what can only be described as a “meat grinder. “Their top brass, including CEO Carlo Katigbak and news head Ma. Regina Reyes, went through 12 hearings in the House of Representatives to either explain or disprove nearly every accusation hurled at them by Representatives Rodante Marcoleta and Michael Defensor.
It ultimately ended in their franchise renewal being rejected.
This spurred citizens to take things into their own hands. The most prominent move done so far is a people’s initiative to restore ABS-CBN’s franchise.
LOOK: Signature drive for the legislative franchise of ABS-CBN through people's initiative, with a family from Antipolo submitting 79 signatures of registered voters. Booth is open until 11am and at 5pm to 7pm today. pic.twitter.com/sfAN0MqsQ6
— Adrian Ayalin (@adrianayalin) August 28, 2020
Called “PIRMA Kapamilya”, it was started by volunteer lawyers who believe that ABS-CBN should be reinstated. They are in need of at least 10% of the country’s total registered voters—3% from each legislative district—to get a petition rolling with the Commission on Elections (Comelec). That’s at least 6.5 million signatures across the country to start a process of getting ABS-CBN back on air.
The move comes from Republic Act 6735, or The Initiative and Referendum Act.
In a report from ABS-CBN, election law specialist Emil Marañon III pointed out that the measure will not exactly lead to a franchise. “We have to note that it will only initiate a nationwide referendum. It will not give ABS-CBN a franchise in itself. What actually births a law is the nationwide referendum that will be called by the Comelec,” said Marañon.
It has picked up traction on social media through the efforts of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines. Whether this will result in ABS-CBN going back on air remains to be seen.