Bato says possible permanent closure of ABS-CBN doesn’t concern him

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Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa said Thursday the possible permanent closure of ABS-CBN does not concern him personally.

“Wala akong nakikitang epekto. Hindi naman ako apektado dahil ‘di naman ako [taga-] ABS-CBN. Iyong ABS-CBN ang maapektuhan,” dela Rosa said in a virtual forum.

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Bato Dela Rosa also said the 11,000 employees, who could lose their jobs once ABS-CBN shuts down permanently, could always look for other employees.

“Meron pa naman ibang news outfit. Hanap [na lang kayo] ng ibang trabaho para mabuhay. Magsumikap. May ibang paraan pa naman siguro,” dela Rosa said.

“Alangan naman sabihin ko maghimagsik kayo, magwala kayo. Hanap na lang kayo ibang trabaho,” he said.

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Senator Dela Rosa also said such permanent closure is not likely to affect the country “as a whole.” “Ako, di naman ako apektado dahil meron din naman ibang news outfit na magpe-perform. Wala ako nakikita epekto as a whole,” he said.
Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri urged House representatives to give the broadcasting company a second chance to reform rather than taking the livelihood of 11,000 people amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Nalulungkot po ako sa posibilidad na di mabigyan ng prangkisa ang ABS-CBN. Lalo po akong nalulungkot sa 11,000 pamilya na mawawalan ng trabaho. Nalulungkot din ako sa bilyong pisong mawawala na kita sa gobyerno dahil sa tax, at lalo po akong nalulungkot sa milyong kababayan na di na po makakapanood,” Zubiri said in a separate virtual forum.

“Umaapela ako sa Kongreso na bigyan na lang ng reporma ang kanilang prangkisa kaysa patayin ang oeprasyon. Give them a chance thru reform rather than shut [it] down.”

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier said he would not renew the station’s franchise if he had it his way. The network failed Duterte’s political ads during the 2016 elections.

“Now, ABS-CBN, their franchise is due for renewal… But I will never also intervene. But if I had my way, I will not give it back to you,” Duterte said in 2018.

Despite this, the president said he has already forgiven the company after ABS-CBN president and chief executive officer (CEO) Carlo Katigbak apologized. Duterte added he would not intervene in the polls and would leave everything to the legislature.

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