Duty sa umaga, jobless pag-uwi: Ex-DZMM reporter reveals Ressa’s hand in sacking 300 ABS-CBN employees
Three hundred employees of ABS-CBN lost their jobs in a day in 2005, no thanks to Rappler founder and chief executive officer Maria Ressa.
Former DZMM reporter Joey Falcon shared the inside story on the mass retrenchment at ABS-CBN Thursday (July 23) in light of the network’s current struggles as a result of its failure to secure a franchise from Congress.
ABS-CBN said it will be laying off several workers by August as it downsizes operations due to limited audience reach.
In a Facebook post, Falcon said he and around 300 other employees were called by the management some time in July 2005 to announce bad news.
“300 kaming REGULAR EMPLOYEES na pinag file ng resignation o early retirement. Sinabihan kami ng umaga, kinahapuman… DONE. Kasama si MARIA RESSA, sa nag push para sa aming RETRENCHMENT,” he said.
Ressa was the chief of ABS-CBN’s integrated news and current affairs division at the time of layoffs.
“Redundant daw kami, eh kami ang nauna. At may COST CUTTING daw kaya inuna kami na matataas ang sahod. Sa araw ding iyon may ‘WALKING PAPERS’ na kami, with some amount of compensation, with the warning na hindi kami pwedeng mag APPLY sa ibang company within ONE YEAR,” Falcon said.
The former ABS-CBN reporter, who was known by the call number “Radyo Patrol 6,” was among the first batch of journalists who worked at ABS-CBN after it was returned to the Lopezes after the fall of the Marcos dictatorship in 1986.
Falcon said he and his colleagues were branded as “heroes” even by the network’s owner at the time, the late Eugenio “Geny” Lopez Jr.
“Dahil sa aming pagpupunyagi, naging no. 1 sa ratings ang Channel 2 at DZMM,” he said.
Falcon urged those who have lost their jobs at ABS-CBN refrain from blaming the government for their plight.
“After 15 years, heto BUHAY PA RIN KAMI. Kahit hindi kami “NAGPA AWA” effect, hindi kami nag DRAMA na parang TELE NOVELA. Huwag na tayong MANISI ng ibang tao o ng Gobyerno,” he said.