Megastar Sharon Cuneta, who is known to be close to President Duterte, publicly asked the Chief Executive to reconsider his decision to block the renewal of ABS-CBN’s franchise, which will expire at the end of March 2020.
Sharon calls Duterte “My Tatay”. Duterte supported the candidacy of Sharon’s brother Cesar “Chet” Cuneta, who ran for Pasay City’s mayoral post in the May 2019 elections. Chet eventually lost to Imelda G. Calixto-Rubiano, who formerly represented the city in the Congress and sister of then-incumbent Mayor Antonio Calixto.
Duterte even joked during the celebration of 156th birth anniversary of Andres Bonifacio in Caloocan last November 30 that the Megastar wanted to throw her husband, Senator Francis Pangilinan, out of their house. The President was then angry at Pangilinan, who is a member of the rival Liberal Party.
After signing her contract renewal with ABS-CBN last January 9, the Megastar said: “I’ll just say this before saying goodbye—I pray that our dear President reconsiders his decision about ABS-CBN, not just because I just renewed [my contract with the studio, because] I can always find a job. But because everybody I grew up with here—who have remained loyal to the station and have grown up here having learned from the school of hard knocks and have become family and good friends—will lose almost everything they’ve built over the years, and even those that might choose to stay—if indeed, unfortunately goes that way—it won’t be the same.”
She continued: “So, I hope in my heart that our dear President reconsiders the thousands and thousands of Filipinos who have grown up here and learned the ropes here, and that includes me.”
The question now is: Will Sharon’s personal appeal to Duterte carry weight and help save ABS-CBN?
Right now, with all the hate that the President harbors against the network, it would probably take more than just Sharon’s plea. It’s barely 78 days before the deadline, and if Sharon’s appeal would just fall on deaf ears, the country’s biggest network could just be signing off indefinitely, or forever.