Can the nation live without Ricardo Dalisay?
WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus B. Jimenez (The Freeman) - May 12, 2020 - 12:00am

Somehow, the destiny of ABS-CBN is like that of forever-living Ricardo Dalisay in “Ang Probinsyano”. All sorts of enemies have tried to kill him with thousands of bullets, mauled him, tortured him, and subjected him to all sorts of cruel, unusual, and inhuman acts. But he always survives. That’s also the fate of ABS-CBN, wounded and scarred, but it will win.

The problem with ABS, like Cardo, is that it’s overconfident, sometimes, to its great jeopardy and disadvantage. For instance, it knew that the solution to their problem isn’t NTC, Calida, or Cayetano. The key to their problem is the man from La Mancha, Don Rodrigo. The one that ABS wronged by allegedly accepting his millions for election ads, which were supposedly never shown. I have no personal knowledge of that. But that’s public perception. Duterte keeps on repeating that. And the Lopezes persisted in keeping mum. The apologies of Carlo Katigbak aren’t enough.

Duterte was expecting the Lopezes to pay courtesy, but they never did. MVP, the king of hospitals, First Pacific, Meralco, Maynilad, PLDT, and Smart, humbled himself and bowed before the high and mighty. The Lopezes never did that. Perhaps they thought that millions of people are behind ABS-CBN, that the whole nation cannot survive without Cardo or Vice Ganda, Boy Abunda, Noli de Castro, or Ted Failon. Such a presumptuousness will get them nowhere. Manny and Cythia Villar were smart enough to go to Davao where they kissed the ring of Papa Rody, the pontiff over Cardinal Quiboloy.

The Lopezes might have forgotten that Duterte was elected by no less than 16 million voters and supported by more than 64 million Filipinos, assuming that every voter has four dependents. That is many times more than the size of the audience of ABS, which is often questioned by rival GMA-7. The problem with big players at times, is that they might think they own the whole nation by the scope of their patronage, and their revenues. ABS should learn the very basic lesson of humility and respect, even if they didn’t vote for Duterte, because Roxas was their favorite. Honestly, Duterte didn’t give a damn, if he wasn’t supported by ABS. He was so strong he would win just the same. Shades of Cardo too.

If this unsolicited advice is taken positively, ABS should humble itself. It shouldn’t retaliate against its own people who are pro-Duterte. If ABS is invoking press freedom, it should allow its people freedom of choice and expression. This episode should be a learning experience for ABS. You cannot fight City Hall, so they say. More so, you cannot fight Malacañang. When the winds are so strong, it isn’t folly to bend and bow. When the bullets are raining like crazy, Cardo should yield or crawl, as a matter of survival. This is just a passing chapter. ABS will live beyond Duterte, even beyond Cardo. Soon, the crisis will be over.

The nation will have Cardo Dalisay again. And by this time, ABS should be wiser. Cardo should be more careful. This isn’t about press freedom, repression, or rumors of martial law. This is plain and simple learning experience. In the end, everybody wins. Malacañang shall have its pound of flesh. Calida shall be promoted to the Supreme Court. Cayetano will be up and about for 2022. And NTC will again be forgotten as an agency.

RICARDO DALISAY
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