ELECTIONS 2022: Vice Ganda rebuffs accusations of Leni endorsement for franchise

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Vice President Leni Robredo, center, who is also celebrating her 57th birthday, poses with artists and performers such as Vice Ganda during her presidential campaign rally in Pasay City, Philippines, on Saturday, April 23, 2022. Presidential hopefuls continue their election campaign with a cast of candidates led by a late dictator's son and the pro-democracy current vice-president as the country is set to vote next month. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)
Vice President Leni Robredo, center, who is also celebrating her 57th birthday, poses with artists and performers such as Vice Ganda during her presidential campaign rally in Pasay City, Philippines, on Saturday, April 23, 2022. Presidential hopefuls continue their election campaign with a cast of candidates led by a late dictator's son and the pro-democracy current vice-president as the country is set to vote next month. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

During the ”Araw Na10 ‘To” Grand Rally in Pasay, media network ABS-CBN stars such as Vice Ganda, Gary Valenciano, Bianca Gonzales, and Andrea Brillantes took to the stage to express their support for Robredo.

In her bid for the nation’s top post, Vice President Leni Robredo was showered with historic support from different artists, musicians, and influencers.

An uplifting mood is usually the norm for Robredo’s political rallies, as celebrities lend their time and energy to bolster the campaign of the presidential aspirant through testimonies and performances.

However, individuals on social media accused the artists of supporting VP Robredo’s presidential bid in exchange for the ABS-CBN franchise.

ABS-CBN's Showtime host Vice Ganda did not let the allegations pass as they discussed the accusations in the noon program.

Para lang po sa kaalaman ng nakararami, wala na po kaming inaasahang prangkisa dahil yung dati namin prangkisa ay meron na pong nagmamay-ari ‘nun (Just to address the issue, we no longer expect a franchise because our old franchise is already owned by another)," the comedian said as they addressed the viewers.

Wala na po kaming hinahabol na prangkisa dahil ang prangkisa namin ay may nagmamay-ari na at pagmamay-arian nila iyan nang ilang dekada. Wala na pong mahahabol ang ABS, at ‘yung sinasabi nilang habol, wala na pong inapply na franchise ang ABS (We are not pursuing a franchise anymore because of our franchise because somebody already owns the franchise and will own it for decades. ABS-CBN has nothing to pursue anymore, and on the allegations, ABS-CBN no longer applied for a franchise),” the noontime show host added.

The celebrity-comedian expressed their support for Robredo in a surprise guest appearance during Robredo’s birthday campaign rally in Pasay. “Kapag si Leni Robredo ang binoto natin, ang sambayanang Pilipino ang panalo (If we vote Leni Robredo, the Filipino people win),” the celebrity said.

Around two years ago, congress rejected ABS-CBN’s franchise application, leading to around 11,000 displaced workers in the media giant.

Last January, the National Telecommunications Commission granted ABS-CBN’s former TV channel frequencies to Villar-owned Advanced Media Broadcasting System, Inc., Quiboloy’s Sonshine Media Network, and the Aliw Broadcasting Corporation.

Basti Evangelista is a news and opinion writer who focuses on Philippine national politics and sectoral issues. His personal advocacy includes press freedom and social justice.

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