Like watching an outrageous teleserye
STAR CIRCUIT (The Freeman) - July 8, 2020 - 12:00am

Almost six million Filipino homes suffered another loss of information and entertainment source with last week’s cease-and-desist orders against SKYdirect satellite service and channel 43 affecting TVplus channels, and even celebrities like Angel Locsin and Bianca Manalo cried foul over this move.

"Kanina pumara ako sa harap ng ABS nung nabalitaan ko ang posibleng pagtigil sa TV Plus at Sky. Eto na naman yung pakiramdam na maiiyak ka na lang," Angel wrote in an Instagram post.

The NTC-issued CDO caused 1.5 million SKYdirect homes to lose their service, some of these households located in remote areas with hardly any access to free-to-air television.

Meanwhile, an estimated 4.4 million households using TVplus in their family viewing are now deprived of access to movie channels CineMo and KBO, children’s channel YeY, Asian drama source Asianovela, throwback channel Jeepney TV, and news source Teleradyo.

These happened under crafty ways of pushing the NTC to issue an order and the seeming absence of due process.

“Congress of the Philippines... puso naman po. Five million na ang walang trabaho. Magtulungan po naman sana tayo,” Bianca said on Instagram.

What is more painful to watch though is how the ongoing franchise deliberations have turned into an occasion of browbeating guest sources and witnesses. It’s like watching an outrageous teleserye on TV.

Even Sen. Sonny Angara felt the anguish. “It's painful to watch the government be the cause of so much suffering and hardship for thousands of ordinary, working Filipinos,” he wrote on Twitter.

The ways some lawmakers ask questions, ignore answers, and worse, try to put words into other’s mouths have been grueling to watch.

Furthermore, some pretend to ask questions but don’t really respect whatever facts have been provided already that counter their allegations.

“These congressmen could be kinder? I don’t understand why they are so angry when the company has paid billions in taxes and have supported millions for education and relief during crisis situations. They have done more good than bad for the country,” talent manager Angeli Pangilinan said.

It’s also dismaying to witness that even the positions and decisions of government agencies, like the BIR, SEC, and PEZA, are being questioned. Otherwise, the ABS-CBN franchise hearing has long ended and a decision has already been made.

With 11 hearing days and 65 hours spent on deliberations as of writing, a franchise vote is long overdue. How many more pressing issues are going to take a backseat while lawmakers prolong the spectacle to infuse their agendas against the Kapamilya network?

Millions of audiences are waiting anxiously. Will they still get to see their beloved TV characters? May this franchise uproar be resolved soon.

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