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Laban Kapamilya! Kim Chiu, Angel Locsin, KathNiel, Other ABS-CBN Artists Speak Up About The Shutdown

Scripts? No need. Kapamilya stars got real and unfiltered about the ABS-CBN shutdown, sharing their thoughts, worries, frustrations, hopes, and prayers

It's been eight days since ABS-CBN was forced to shut down by the National Telecommunication Commission and much has been said and done about the turn of events.

Shocking everyone at the network, from veteran anchors Karen Davila and Korina Sanchez, its behind-the-scenes employees, to its roster of top-billed actors and actresses, the shutdown has sparked a tidal wave of reactions, some more intense than others.

Most publicized of all the things that celebrities have done to oppose the shutdown was "Laban Kapamilya," an online event organized by actress Kim Chiu and streamed on Facebook. The online event has had two installments and featured different sets of artists and ABS-CBN employees who wished to air their grievances and frustrations, as well as share messages of hope and gratitude to those who continue to support the network.

Hosted by Tito Boy Abunda and Bianca Gonzalez-Intal, both sessions invited participants to speak freely—no scripts, no teleprompters, just pure, unfiltered sentiments about the recent events and how these affected their lives.

Celebrities who spoke during the first session streamed on May 9 included Kim Chiu, Judy Ann Santos-Agoncillo, Coco Martin, Bela Padila, Agot Isidro, Cherry Pie Picache, Raymart Santiago, Michael de Mesa, and John Prats, plus directors Dan Villegas and Antoinette Jadaone, Kim Atienza and ABS-CBN employees Dennis Salgado and Chiqui Corona. 

On the other hand, Angel Locsin, Jodi Sta. Maria, Shaina Magdayao, Angel Aquino, Jaime Fabregas, Enchong Dee, Angelica Panganiban, as well as rank and file employees union president Generoso Villanueva Jr., supervisory employees union president Raul de Asis, and director Albert Langitan were the guests in the second session streamed on May 12. 


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Here are highlights from both sessions: 

Kim Chiu was visibly emotional as she addressed the "bashers" and "trolls" who criticized her lengthy Instagram post from last week where she lambasted the decision to shut down her place of work. She talked about how ABS-CBN meant much to her, as it was through her work with the network that she was able to give her family a better life and put her for siblings through school.

Coco Martin was the most empathic of all the celebrities that participated and like Kim, verbalized his thoughts that he first shared on Instagram some days ago. The Ang Probinsyano lead minced no words and directly addressed those who supported the network's closure.

Cherry Pie Picache said what thousands of ABS-CBN employees have been thinking: Paano na? Sharing that if she was a mom with a child still in school, she wondered out loud about what would happen should she lose her source of income—a shared concern among all breadwinner parents affected by the shutdown.

Judy Ann Santos-Agoncillo spoke from a mother's point of view, highlighting the need to be united in these difficult times and helping those in need and appealing to Filipinos to understand why they had felt the need to defend themselves.


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Angel Aquino took on a nationalistic tone and said that the Philippines deserved better, that this country deserved the truth. She called the events that transpired last week "injustice." 

Jodi Sta. Maria quoted the great Martin Luther King, citing his words "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter” to apply to this situation. She spoke about the network's importance to her, saying how it had played a big part in her life as she had grown up watching its programs as a child and building her career as an adult within its walls. "Service"—this is what she said was behind ABS-CBN's existence. 

Angelica Panganiban compared her own family experiences—sharing her own adoption story—to those she had with her ABS-CBN family. Keeping things short, she kept her point concise: the virus, and not her network or its talents, is the enemy, and that the real issues are mass testing, loss of jobs, a weak healthcare system, and hunger. 

Angel Locsin focused on the services and help that ABS-CBN has offered to millions of Filipinos, two things that are crucial in a time of crisis. "Every second counts," she says, especially in a pandemic. She addressed the NTC and told them that the closure of a network that provides information to countless families is not the solution the country needs. Her words were a continuation of an earlier, more passionate, post where she shared her own opinions about the issue. Watch both videos below. 

Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla have likewise released their own statements despite not being a part of Laban Kapamilya's live streams. As two of the network's biggest stars, many of their fans had waited to hear from them to speak up about the issue, and finally, eight days after ABS-CBN went off the air, the reel and real life couple shared their thoughts in two separate videos. 

Kathryn took a more personal approach; she had explained why it took her some time to open up about how she felt about recent events, citing the "trauma" that she and her family went through when she last decided to get involved with political issues. Despite knowing that she would once again become the target of ire and nasty comments online, she decided to push through with publicizing her thoughts nonetheless and focused her talk on how artists like her are able to help those in need.

Daniel was deliberate in his words, choosing what he wished to say with great intent. He made several points, touching on a number of sensitive issues that have put up walls between ABS-CBN's most loyal supporters and harshest critics. The young actor talked about division between Filipinos when there should be unity, pleaded for understanding of artists like himself who have defended their livelihood, the overall atmosphere of discouragement hanging over the country, and the sadness he feels about national issues more have only spiraled into worse situations as days go by. 

These ABS-CBN artists have also received support from their GMA counterparts, highlighting that this issue is not unique to the network, but affects all those who work in the media, and really, all Filipinos. 

As of this writing, ABS-CBN's franchise issue has been resolved in Congress—for now. A provisional franchise was granted on May 12, Wednesday, that will allow the network to continue broadcasting for the next five months. However, come October, ABS-CBN will once again have to wait for the decision about its final franchise renewal (an approved franchise renewal will allow the network to broadcast for 25 years). 

Photos from @yesccpicache @therealangellocsin @chinitaprincess