Bela Padilla underscored a miscarriage of justice, especially for the 11,000 ABS-CBN employees set to lose their jobs after the network was cut off the air, as she rebutted endless discourse against ABS-CBN’s continued operations stating dura lex sed lex, the law is the law.
Such statement has since been carried in repeated comments that countered social media posts questioning the National Telecommunications Commission’s Cease and Desist Order (CDO) to take the network off the air.
Supporters of the government’s move would castigate those who would criticize the NTC’s actions, especially Kapamilya artists in their social media posts, saying ABS-CBN, without a valid franchise, should just follow the lawful act of closing it down.
“The law may be harsh but it is the law—that is the end of your argument all the time. In the same way na ang kutsara ay kutsara pero para saan ba ang kutsara? ‘Pag sinasabi natin a paintbrush is a paintbrush, para saan ba ang paintbrush? We are trying to paint a bigger picture. We are trying to produce something. So what does the law stand for here? The law is supposed to serve justice, to give out justice,” Bela emphasized in the “Laban Kapamilya” Facebook Live event on Friday, May 8.
Bela said in her view “justice was not served” when the NTC ordered ABS-CBN to stop its broadcast.
“The fact of the matter is that on May 5, justice was not served for 11,000 Kapamilyas and the people who depend on ABS-CBN for information, for entertainment,” she declared “You took out our light to seek out justice. For me, we do not end the arguments with the law is the law, it’s what does the law do for us, the citizens, the taxpayers.”
NTC cited the Radio Control Law or Act No. 3846 in issuing the CDO, stating that “(n)o person, firm, company, association, or corporation shall construct, install establish, or operate a radio transmitting station, or radio receiving station used for commercial purposes, or a radio broadcasting station, without having first obtained a franchise therefor from the Congress of the Philippines.”
This was despite their assurances that a provisional authority would be given to ABS-CBN, as urged by both Houses of Congress, since the Lower House are still deliberating on extending the network’s franchise. And, the NTC itself having issued a memo that franchises lapsing during the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ), will be automatically renewed at least until after the lockdown is over.
Bela earlier noted in the Facebook live event as seen in this video how the halt in ABS-CBN broadcast operations affected her.
“Hindi po ako makagalaw after nung sign-off. Sa 50 plus days ako mag-isa sa bahay (due to the ECQ), ‘yun ang pinaka-tahimik na moment para sa akin,” she said.
Bela said as ABS-CBN went off the air she tearfully said, “Wala na ang pamilya mo, wala na ang tahanan mo, wala na ang source of information mo, wala na ‘yung tulong na sana makakarating sa’yo.”
“ABS-CBN ang tinuring kong pamilya. Kaya nalulungkot ako kasi feeling ko parang pinatayan n’yo ako ng ilaw, pinalabas n’yo kami sa bahay namin, pinaghiwa-hiwalay n’yo po kami,” she said.
But she expressed concerned for her co-workers in the station, especially the production crew who would turn jobless.
“Bukod po sa akin, nanangamba ako para sa kaibigan ko sa likod ng camera kung kumusta sila ngayon. Ilang buwan na din po dinadanas natin ang pandemiya na ito. Paano sila after nito? Dinagdagan n’yo ang mga walang trabaho… Alam ko po lahat kami malungkot ngayon. Lahat kami may galit, nangangamba.”
In the end, Bela would appeal to the NTC to reconsider.
“’Yun lang po, sana po bigyan n’yo po kami ng oras uli. Bigyan n’yo po kami ng avenue para makamusta namin ang Kapamilya namin para malaman namin na okay sila at masigurado namin masaya sila ulit.”
WATCH: Kapamilya stars, matapang na naglabas ng tunay na damdamin sa pagpapasara sa ABS-CBN
*Video courtesy: Kim Chiu’s FB