ABS-CBN vice chairman Atty. Augusto “Jake” Almeda Lopez appealed to Congress to recognize the value and the major contributions of ABS-CBN and its 11,000 workers to the country.
“Can you give me another two minutes? You know we are fighting for our lives,” said Almeda Lopez during the House panel committee hearing on the franchise renewal of ABS-CBN.
“We deserve the renewal of our franchise, and that if you don’t renew our franchise you’re going to deprive the public of so much entertainment, news, and more or less the building of culture,” he said.
Almeda Lopez emphasized that ABS-CBN is more than just TV channel 2 and DZMM AM radio and that it has made key contributions to the nation such as the Knowledge Channel.
“Knowledge Channel is a very important public service we are providing. It was even cited and awarded by the United Nations as one of the most effective public service programs in the country,” he said.
He likewise mentioned how ABS-CBN Foundation Inc. has been providing relevant public service programs, as it has been “the first responder or one of the first responders to any disasters in this country.”
Almeda Lopez also cited the foundation’s Bantay Bata program that rescues and protects Filipino children from abuse, the Pasig River cleanup program and medical missions rendered “in the service of the Filipino.”
“So I plead to the members of Congress to give ABS-CBN a chance to show its worth and contribution to the country,” he said.
Almeda Lopez, who joined ABS-CBN in 1961, formally retired from the Lopez Group in 2008. He received a lifetime achievement award during the 2016 Lopez Achievement Awards, where Lopez Group chairman Manuel M. Lopez (MML) acknowledged him as a mentor.
“Kapamilya talaga yan, tried and tested,” MML said. Eugenio Lopez III, then chairman of ABS-CBN, added: “Nobody else can talk about ‘In the Service of the Filipino People’ in such an intimate and selfless way the way Atty. Jake could.”