Many feel that retired broadcaster Jay Sonza ought to have been invited to last Monday’s Senate inquiry if the committee led by Sen. Grace Poe was serious in looking into the operations of ABS-CBN.
Those who felt the Senate hearing was just a ploy to pressure the House of Representatives to act on the media network’s franchise renewal and to maximize all-out efforts to generate massive public sympathy for the beleaguered network tend to agree with Speaker Alan Cayetano who said he saw no sense for the inquiry.
“Parang nag-a-attendance ngayon lahat ng gustong sumipsip sa ABS-CBN, di ba? Bakit nag-hearing ang Senate? Anong purpose?,” Cayetano said.
President Duterte’s supporters who believe the media giant has really done them wrong during the 2016 elections were dismayed that those fiercely criticizing ABS-CBN were not invited to the Senate. And they believe that Sonza can be a vital resource person to shed light on how the giant network purportedly abuses its power.
In a DZRJ radio interview on the program Trending News which can be seen on YouTube, Sonza didn’t mince words in hitting the “gods” of ABS-CBN. “Ang feeling kasi nila sila ang diyos… ganun sila kalakas sa gobyerno, hawak nila mga presidente, mga senador, mga congressman,” Sonza said as he recalled the 10 years he spent at the network working until the mid ‘90s in various positions – as news director, announcer, program host, and supervising producer.
Sonza also said he was “barkada” to the ABS-CBN bosses and “paminsan minsan bugaw” as he described the network as “pugad ng kasalanan” where “everybody f_ _ks everybody.”
“May bumababa galing sa penthouse na bagong paligong mga talent, yun ang sinasabi kong di ko na kayang sikmurain dahil ako’y naging abala sa Christian renewal community, kaya sabi ko maghiwahiwalay tayo,” Sonza narrated.
He said that the network “gods” felt anyone in government could be influenced and “kaya nila hilutin ang lahat,” even the other permits for the various services, like cable TV, that the network is engaged in and which are also set to expire this year.
“14 franchises sabay sabay mag e-expire yan, pwede kumuha permit to operate… nababayaran, mura lang yan, bigyan mo lang ng isang kotse yung mga ilang opisyal… Paakyatin mo sa penthouse at iregalo mo starlet,” Sonza said, probably in jest.
He also hit the network’s style of public service. “Tatlong gabi ako nanonood, puro pinagyayabang nila, in their appeal to emotions, na ang galing nila mag public service, ang totoo niyan wala ni isang sentimo ng pera galing sa ABS ang pinamimigay nila sa public service nila, puro galing sa tao lahat yan,” Sonza said.
He claimed that the resources of ABS-CBN’s foundation all consisted of donations from the people. He said that when he left in 1996, the foundation had around P2 billion in donations for calamities like the big earthquake that hit Baguio and the Mt. Pinatubo eruption.
“Iyong building sa kanto ng Mother Ignacia St. at Scout Albano na pinatayo na may helipad, pera ng foundation iyon – perang donasyon ng mga tao – na kinokontra ko noon. Bakit magpapatayo ng building na donation ng tao, pera ng tao? Nag donate sila para pangtulong at hindi pampatayo ng building,” Sonza said.
“Noong nagdonate sa Ateneo Alumni Association si Gabby, ang pera galing sa foundation, galing sa donation ng mga tao tapos dinonate sa Ateneo, sa alumni, pampayabang.. ‘Nagdonate ako ng one million,’ pero actually hindi pera ng mga Lopez, pera ng mga donors sa foundation,” Sonza claimed.
He also hit the seeming hypocrisy of the network in expressing concern for the plight of around 11,000 employees who would be jobless if the network’s franchise is not renewed. “Eh lahat ng klaseng ng unfair labor practice ginagawa ng ABS,” Sonza said.
And the talents who support the network could be dismayed with what he said: “Ang kalakaran sa Lopez company, hanggat magaling ka at nakikinabang sila, okay ka. ‘Pag hindi ka na nila kailangan, kahit na kumikita ka pa o sikat ka pa, they will drop you like a hot potato… maniwala kayo, gamitan diyan.”
(To be continued)
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