On July 17, a protest caravan was held in Makati and Manila converging at ABS-CBN facility in Quezon City and ending in a noise barrage at the network’s Sgt. Esguerra gate. This is the 9th noise barrage, spontaneous or planned, in a row held since Congress rejected the network’s franchise application on July 10.

Dubbed ‘Mag-ingay Pilipinas!’ (Make Noise, Philippines), employees and supporters joined the protest, denouncing ABS-CBN’s continued shutdown since May 5.

President Rodrigo Duterte promised to see the network out since he came to the presidency, a vow fulfilled as his supermajority in Congress voted to deny the franchise bid at the committee level.

The noise barrage was the last stop in a protest caravan on two routes – one in Makati and one in Manila – that was spearheaded by employees, celebrities and supporters from the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines and Bayan Muna, one of the sponsors for the network’s franchise application.

Reporter Doris Bigornia, nicknamed by the network as “Mutya ng Masa” for her candid style in dealing with unplanned situations while on live reportage, joined the protest.

Artists and celebrities of the network joined the protest, including the network’s top-billed and up-and-coming: Daniel Padilla, Kathryn Bernardo, Maymay Entrata, Edward Barbers, Melai Cantiveros and fellow Pinoy Big Brother housemate Jason Francisco, Enchong Dee, Beauty Gonzales, Jake Cuenca, beauty queen Kylie Versoza, Ria Atayde, Mylene Dizon, Alex Gonzaga and her family, singer Jona, veteran actors Angel Aquino, Joel Torre and Jaime Fabregas, and Angel Locsin and director/producer Neil Arce among others.

In an impassioned statement, Locsin called on fellow artists to speak out and act against the shutdown of the network.

“Sa mga kasamahan kong artistang ‘di nagsasalita, Ano? May network pa ba kayo? Wala na! Wala na kayong network. Kahit magpa-cute kayo diyan sa IG, mag-send kayo ng mga sad face, hindi niyo nadadamayan ang mga katrabaho niyo na dahilan kung bakit kyo sumikat. Kapag hindi tayo nagsalita, ibig sabihin kinampihan natin ang mali,” said Locsin, known for her philanthropy and activism.

[To my fellow artists who have not spoken, what now? Do you still have a network? No! You don’t have a network any longer. Even if you make yourselves cute on Instagram or send sad faces, you would not be able to help your coworkers who are the reason why you became famous. If we don’t speak, that means we stand by what is wrong.]

Photo by Akira Liwanag

 

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