The Babbler said management would announce by June 2020 the names of ABS-CBN employees who would get the axe after Channels 2 and 23 and radio stations DZMM 630 and MOR 101.9 were yanked off the air on May 5, a day after its franchise expired.
Management did not state how broad the layoffs and the amount of compensation but the Babbler said it was working on the assumption it would not regain its franchise and frequencies.
The Babbler said affected employees, mostly broadcast engineering staff, would be given a two-month headstart to consume all their leave credits. Shortly after going off air, management guaranteed it would pay salaries of employees for three months.
Management made the announcement just three days after Speaker Alan Cayetano dashed their only hope of getting back on air soon when he abandoned his House Bill 6732 which would had given ABS-CBN a provisional franchise until October 2020 and stop its losses of P35 million for each day that it was off the air.
Cayetano, who made a big show out of sponsorship of HB 6732, claimed he was advised by the House leaders to make ABS-CBN go through the regular process of getting its 25-year franchise.
But Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman believes there is no reason for Cayetano to make a U-turn and not finish what he started except for “a furtive and sinister outside interference.”
Whether the unseen hand was from Malacanang or Iglesia Ni Cristo, one thing is clear: ABS-CBN believes it will not get a franchise, much less the highly-coveted frequencies it has held since 1953.