MANILA, Philippines — ABS-CBN’s plan to retrench some of its workers also affects those on the upper level of the totem pole, as veteran journalist and ABS-CBN News Channel Executive Editor Ces Oreña-Drilon admitted Thursday she also lost her job.
According to Drilon, telling her fellow ABS-CBN officials and employees that they would lose their jobs was one of the hardest days she had to face, as the network said it will cease operating some of its businesses and lay off workers in the absence of a legislative franchise.
“This was one of the toughest days I had to face. Telling fellow kapamilyas that they would lose their jobs by end of August. I lost mine too,” Drilon said on Twitter on Thursday.
ABS-CBN announced Wednesday its plan to slash its work force, less than a week after 70 House officials and members of the lower chamber’s committee on legislative franchises voted in favor of a technical working group report denying the broadcasting network’s application for a fresh 25-year franchise.
Drilon got some encouraging words from several people in the media industry, including from fellow ABS-CBN journalist Karen Davila, who worked together on late night newscast Bandila.
“This is heartbreaking. @cesdrilon it’s been an honor to be alongside you in Bandila. You are an ABSCBN news icon and inspiration. I am preparing my heart as well for the worst and will stand by ABSCBN til the end,” Davila said.
Other reporters and broadcasters from ABS-CBN like Bianca Dava and Jeff Canoy, along with various personalities like history professor Xiao Chua and former deputy speaker Erin Tañada also consoled and encouraged Drilon.
ABS-CBN went off the air at 7:52 p.m. on May 5, hours after the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) issued a cease and desist order (CDO) against its operations as the media firm’s franchise lapsed on May 4.
After ABS-CBN’s problems became imminent, NTC Deputy Commissioner Edgardo Cabarios admitted that the CDO was released due to questions on the validity of its franchise.
Cabarios did not explicitly mention what questions were raised against ABS-CBN’s franchise but Solicitor General Jose Calida filed a quo warranto petition against the network before the Supreme Court in February for allegedly hiding foreign ownership behind a corporate veil.