GMA stars, reporter show support for ABS-CBN amid franchise challenge

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 12) — Stars and reporters of GMA Network are expressing solidarity for their counterparts in rival TV network ABS-CBN, whose franchise renewal remains in limbo.

Dingdong Dantes, the star of the Philippine adaptation of 'Descendants of the Sun,' said that although ABS-CBN is the direct competitor of his broadcast network, they belong to one industry.

"Magkaiba man ng bakod, we are one in the media industry. We have one love for the many talents and crafts under this network, the products and output of which, directly or indirectly, benefit the lives of millions of Filipinos," he tweeted on Tuesday.

He shared quotes from Buhay Party-List Rep. Lito Atienza during his privilege speech on Tuesday. He noted that Congress should act on several franchise renewal bills languishing in the House. The actor said lawmakers should set aside politics and act based on the laws.

"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," he said.

Kapuso actress Eugene Domingo shared an Instagram post of the ABS-CBN logo and signal tower, saying that at the end of the day, both networks are one family.

GMA News reporter JP Soriano tweeted that he backs his fellow journalists in ABS-CBN. He also called to defend press freedom.

The defense and police press corps, composed of reporters from different media outfits, rallied for fair treatment and due process for their fellow journalists.

The Duterte administration’s top lawyer, Solicitor General Jose Calida, went to the Supreme Court on Monday to ask the high court to revoke the existing franchise of ABS-CBN Corporation and its subsidiary, ABS-CBN Convergence Inc., for allegedly violating the rules set by Congress. This comes amid pending bills in the House seeking to renew the TV giant’s franchise for another 25 years. The existing franchise expires on March 30.

Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano on Tuesday assured the House of Representatives will conduct fair discussions into the bills seeking to renew the franchise of ABS-CBN amid consistent calls from his colleagues to set a hearing to tackle the pending measures.

Since 2018, Duterte has personally vowed to put the channel and its subsidiaries out of business. He has repeatedly slammed the network since 2018 for not airing his presidential campaign advertisements in 2016.