Reality Check: Senator Bato reeks of insensitivity, divorced from the plight of Filipinos —Youth Party

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Kabataan Partylist hits the recent remarks made by Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa on the state of the 11,000 workers of the ABS-CBN. He recently told them to ‘look for other jobs’ in case the media giant’s franchise is not renewed by Congress.

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This statement comes following the ABS-CBN franchise renewal discussion in the House of Representatives. With the fate of the franchise now hanging in the balance, the widespread dissemination of news and entertainment enjoyed by the people for the longest time is under threat. The same goes for the livelihood of over 11,000 workers, who now risk unemployment. The situation is made even more dire as we are undergoing a worldwide pandemic.

It is noteworthy that earlier this year, Senator Bato further remarked that ‘what is 11,000 jobs compared to the whole Filipino nation?’ Unsurprising, considering the remark he made after an online Senate plenary session: “Sarap ng buhay! Ganito na lang tayo palagi ha?”

Bato, like his master in Malacañang, is divorced from reality. He blatantly ignores the fact that the unemployment rate is at a record high. There are currently 14.14M Filipinos at a loss for jobs. His pronouncements only show how unfit he is for the job as a legislator. We suggest that Bato give himself a reality check and find another job. This way he can better understand the plight of ordinary citizens.

Despite being cleared from every alleged violation thrown against it, ABS-CBN is now at the mercy of the Duterte-backed House of Representatives.

In a time where the life, liberty, and livelihood of thousands of people are at risk, such foolish callousness from this administration becomes all the more unacceptable.

The country’s democracy is at stake. Let there be no mistake, this is a grave blow on a fundamental democratic institution. It is meant to send a chilling effect on all media practitioners and dissenters.
The state of the nation is rapidly deteriorating. Press freedom is under attack. The livelihood of 11,000 workers are now at risk in this time of pandemic, a plight all too familiar to millions more. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc as the administration’s inutile response only exacerbates its impact on people’s health and livelihood.

Despite all of these, the Duterte administration has done nothing but railroad one draconian measure after another.
Let us not allow this administration to strip away our democracy. Let us stand in the face of tyranny and defend press freedom. Let us stand in unison with the 11,000 workers of ABS-CBN in their struggle to keep their livelihood from the threat of losing it to dictatorship.

We call on the people to heighten the calls to renew the franchise of ABS-CBN and to continue to defend the freedom of the press and expression.###

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