Sustaining wounds
VERBAL VARIETY - Annie Fe Perez (The Freeman) - May 23, 2020 - 12:00am

It's been almost three weeks since ABS-CBN was shut down. Three weeks since they tried to sort out which things we may bring home in case we were denied entry to our office. Thank God, that hasn't happened yet. We only experienced a few hiccups while crossing borders. Some uniformed personnel checking the validity of our operations which are now online.

It's also been three weeks since I and close to 11,000 workers shed tears. Prayers were offered that the government would fast track the franchise that has been impeding the network, especially in this time of a pandemic. Most of my colleagues are losing hope. Others are looking for options, mostly to survive. My cameramen who have little children have more anxiety than ever as they ponder the next steps to take.

Whenever I step out of our vehicle, I am approached by little children asking when ABS-CBN will come back on air. What pains me more are senior citizens sharing their dismay over the shutdown. While a lot lament the loss of ABS-CBN on the air, the country's top officials are in limbo. We saw how the health chief addressed the nation saying that we are now in the second wave of coronavirus cases. There is public uproar and LGUs are blind on how to address the situation.

With many problems to address during this time, lawmakers are rubbing more salt into the wound in all those dependent on ABS-CBN. A lot of opinions about the issue came out, others include the fact that the network is only for the oligarchs and shutting it down would open more options to the competition. But it’s more than that, there are people who work and have families to feed. If the government can't even roll out the financial assistance to affected families in this time of a pandemic in an orderly manner, how much more if 11,000 individuals will be added to that list?

The journey has been long and heartbreaking. We continue to deliver news for our online content, but it feels like a part of you is missing. You know, it's like losing a leg or an arm. Things will never be the same and the way we live our lives will be altered forever, plus add this problem to the list.

There is no sympathy to speak of, nor empathy, but we are asking those who can see the clear picture in this issue --how government failed to deliver its promise to a network many lives depend on. Not to mention, millions of pesos raised to cover up the government's failure in giving assistance to those who need it in this time of a pandemic.

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