After drawing flak for supposedly keeping mum about ABS-CBN’s shut down when it failed to secure a broadcast license, actress Nadine Lustre, who appeared in the network’s popular primetime dramas, yesterday said that she’s in the same boat as the media giant’s supporters.
Better late than never, we guess.
Lustre wrote online that she remains a kapamilya, a nickname given to supporters and workers of ABS-CBN.
“Like you, I’m scared of what’s happening too. Like you, I’m saddened for the more than 11,000 people who lose their jobs. Like you, I cry for my own country. Because like you, I’m also a Filipino. I am part of this fight. I continue to help and pray [for the situation] amid mourning,” the 26-year-old actress wrote on Instagram.
“Let us please turn our attention to things that warrant real attention. Please, let’s not fight or divide amongst ourselves. We’re out of time,” the actress pleaded to the public.
Supporters of Lustre came to her defense on Twitter, with people like @peachesXpoison saying, “Nadine said her piece. She Supports ABS-CBN.”
Like Lustre, her fan called for unity instead of squabbling amid the aggrieved broadcaster’s closure.
“Let’s unite. We’re running out of time. NOW GO, DIRECT YOUR HATE TO THE REAL ENEMY!”
Nadine said her piece.
She supports ABSCBN.
She was never quiet.
She spoke a lot of times but you disregarded it.
Let’s unite. We’re running out of time.
NOW GO, DIRECT YOUR HATE TO THE REAL ENEMY! #NadineLustre
— #JunkTerrorBillNOW (@peachesXpoison) July 19, 2020
Lustre’s statement however, comes after fellow ABS-CBN actress Angel Locsin over the weekend attended a protest against the network’s shutdown. During the rally, Locsin urged celebrities who remained silent on the media giant’s shutdown to speak up, as they apparently had nothing to lose or an image to protect anymore.
“To my fellow actresses who aren’t speaking up, do you still have a career? You don’t have a network anymore!” an impassioned Locsin said in Filipino.
“Even if you try to look cute on Instagram, or send a sad face, you are not sympathizing with your fellow workers who are the reason why you became famous!”
“Don’t be scared. You no longer have a career or image to protect,” Locsin, long-known for her outspoken views on the franchise, said.
Many believe that the non-renewal of ABS-CBN’s license to broadcast is politically motivated because President Rodrigo Duterte had publicly threatened to block it multiple times, and even bragged in a speech last week that he “dismantled the oligarchy” shortly after the media giant’s license was rejected by Congress.
After the House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly against ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal, the media giant announced that it would retrench its workers starting next month. Among those let go were veteran broadcasters Ces Drilon and Korina Sanchez, both of whom expressed their sadness on social media.
Meanwhile, rival network TV5’s chairman, billionaire businessman Manny Pangilinan told The Philippine Star over the weekend that it may absorb the displaced ABS-CBN workers. Pangilinan said that he is willing to offer jobs for the soon to be out-of-work employees if they are willing to lend their talents to TV5.
ABS-CBN has said that it suffers losses of up to PHP35 million (US$708,581) every day that it is off the air.
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