Lord, in the age of “Build, Build, Build” don’t let them destroy an institution that is an infrastructure in itself — a tower informing, entertaining, serving the faceless, countless masses.
Thirty-seven years ago, fresh out of college, Cory V. Vidanes applied for a job in ABS-CBN. She was an unknown entity but she was hired as a production assistant, one of the lowliest positions that in the industry is rated no higher than “slave.” Today Cory is chief operating officer for broadcast. If you watch the hearings in Congress, she’s seated somewhere between her chairman, Mark Lopez, and president, Carlo Katigbak. She is not a Lopez, and I’m sure more people in the network know her than they do the big bosses. Cousins Mark and Carlo are the gentle, soft-spoken executives who were described by then presidential spokesman Sal Panelo as “the young generation of Lopezes who know how to apologize.” Their apologies were graciously accepted by President Duterte shortly after Digong apologized to Messrs. Ayala and Pangilinan for his “harsh words” during the water shortage last year. This is the same Digong whose heart was touched days ago at the sight of LSIs sleeping outside the airport and who forthwith ordered them brought into the terminal, with free food. “Send me the bill,” he said.
Mr. President, do not let your heart be hardened, do not allow your loyal allies to take down 11,000 employees, talents, suppliers, and their dependents. The law is the law, but as a lawyer you’ll agree that there are ways to keep the network operating while the courts address the contentious issues.
I brought up the story of COO Vidanes because she grew up in what can be called ABS-CBN’s corporate culture. Up to now she identifies herself as a slave to her work — staffers and minions who also dream of hitching their dreams to a star (just like Coco and Angel, Noli and Ted?).
Congress has been conducting hearings to decide the fate of the network. A hearing, said one, is held to hear both sides or all sides. How many are listening with open minds?###