What a Man: Netizens praise actor Dingdong Dantes for supporting rival network ABS-CBN

Actor Dingdong Dantes. Photo: Dantes/IG
Actor Dingdong Dantes. Photo: Dantes/IG

The petition filed by Solicitor General Jose Calida seeking the termination of ABS-CBN’s franchise has unsettled media professionals, many of whom said that his actions (and President Rodrigo Duterte’s) are an attack on press freedom. And while netizens are rallying to ABS-CBN’s defense, even they were surprised when support came from an unlikely ally: actor Dingdong Dantes, the biggest star on rival network GMA.

Dantes took to Twitter yesterday to share his thoughts, writing, “Although I work for another company, we have one love for the many talents and crafts under this Network [ABS-CBN], the products and output of which, directly or indirectly, benefit the lives of millions of Filipinos.”

Read: “I don’t know what’s right and wrong for you”: Yeng Constantino pleads with Duterte over renewal of ABS-CBN franchise (VIDEO)

 

He then quoted what Congressman Lito Atienza of Buhay Party-List said in support of ABS-CBN: “Inaction will only spell the weakening of the foundations of our democratic system. If Congress will not take action… we should not be deserving to be called representatives of the people.”

The House of Representatives has been sitting on several bills seeking to renew ABS-CBN’s franchise, which will expire in March.

Dantes added, in an obvious jab directed at Calida, “In the end, I pray that the true interests of the people, under the rule of law, will prevail over any other political agenda conveniently veiled as a countermeasure against alleged abuses.”

Read: Lea Salonga, Anne Curtis call for ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal, sign journalist-led petition

In his petition, Calida alleged that ABS-CBN issued Philippine Depositary Receipts (PDRs) to foreigners, a purported violation of constitutional regulations on foreign ownership of media companies. He also sought to have Kapamilya Box Office (KBO), a cable pay-per-view channel owned by ABS-CBN, suspended.

The company has said that their PDRs were scrutinized by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Philippine Stock Exchange before being sold to investors.

Dantes’ vocal support of ABS-CBN has given rise to a new breed of DDS. No, not the infamous Duterte Diehard Supporters, the president’s legion of rabid fans, but rather Dingdong Dantes Supporters. The phrase was even trending on Twitter yesterday shortly after the actor expressed his thoughts.

Meanwhile, ABS-CBN issued a rebuttal to netizens who routinely accuse it, without proof, of failing to pay its taxes. In a statement, the network said not only that it “faithfully” pays its taxes to the government, but that it’s also one of the Philippines’ largest single taxpayers.

“In fact, the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) gave ABS-CBN a Tax Certificate Clearance in 2019, proof that it doesn’t owe anything to the BIR,” it said in English and Filipino. “For the past 17 years, the taxes which ABS-CBN paid to the government have reached PHP70.5 billion (about US$1.4 billion). ABS-CBN is also one of the biggest taxpayers in the country.”

 

Are you in favor of ABS-CBN’s closure? Tell us your thoughts by leaving a comment below or tweeting to @CoconutsManila.

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