President Benigno “Noynoy” S. Aquino III (PNoy) commended multimedia conglomerate ABS-CBN for its invaluable contributions to the nation, not just as a source of information and entertainment for Filipinos here and abroad, but for its efforts in public service and citizen empowerment in his speech during the blessing of ABS-CBN’s Eugenio Lopez Jr. Communications Center in Diliman, Quezon City last Thursday (Nov 4).
PNoy, who is pushing for public-private partnerships in his administration, said the Lopez-owned network has been a partner in instituting programs and projects that benefit the general public with campaigns such as the citizen journalism movement Bayan Mo, iPatrol Mo: Ako ang Simula and ABS-CBN Foundation’s Kapit Bisig Para sa Ilog Pasig.
The President came as guest-of-honor of the dedication ceremony, which was attended by Sec. Sonny Coloma of the Presidential Communications Operation Office, Sec. Ricky Carandang of the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office, Department of Tourism Sec. Alberto Lim, Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista, QC Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte, Movie and Television Review and Classification Board Chair Grace Poe, Lopez Group of Companies Chairman Emeritus Oscar Lopez, Lopez Group of Companies Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Manolo Lopez, ABS-CBN Chairman and CEO Eugenio Lopez III, ABS-CBN President and COO Charo Santos Concio, and the network’s advertisers.
Aquino lauded ABS-CBN Foundation managing director Gina Lopez, the driving force of successful programs such as Bantay Bata 163, Sagip Kapamilya, Bantay Kalikasan, E-Media, and Kapit Bisig Para sa Ilog Pasig, for “dreaming the impossible” and making things happen. Lopez was recently appointed by Aquino as chair of the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission.
Aquino also praised “Bayan Mo, iPatrol Mo: Ako ang Simula” for encouraging the participation of people in national issues and ensuring accountability in the government.
“This kind of project gives Filipinos an opportunity to serve the nation by being vigilant towards the government. Like I said in my SONA (state of the nation address), let us shift from merely meddling in issues into taking part in resolving them and making change happen,” he said.
Aquino, whose sister Kris is a talent of ABS-CBN, said the network has always been a home for his family and that the Kapamilya network inspires great memories for them. He said ABS-CBN’s documentary “The Last Journey of Ninoy” instilled in the hearts and minds of Filipinos the essence of the lives of his father Benigno and mother Corazon as well as the principles they lived and died for.
ABS-CBN Chairman Eugenio “Gabby” Lopez III, meanwhile, said that it is “by grace” that it was Aquino who dedicated the 10 year old building as they have already postponed it twice before as the scheduled date coincided with Typhoon Reming and then the impeachment trial of former President Joseph Estrada.
“As one looks back my father (Eugenio Lopez Jr.) had a clear idea on who should dedicate this building, and with President Aquino with us now, it seems he has determined that now is the time,” he said.
Lopez also said that while Aquino is in public service by being in public office and ABS-CBN is in the path of public service by being in business, they can work hand-in-hand for the benefit of the country.
“Though we start from different points, we journey together towards a rapidly developing Philippines where every Juan de la Cruz lives a life of dignity complete with education, livelihood, health care and shelter,” he said.
His uncle Manolo, who also sits as chairman of power utility giant Manila Electric Co. (MERALCO), added the President can expect the Lopez Group’s full support and fervent prayers for the success of Aquino’s administration.
Manolo Lopez also thanked Aquino for the hope that this administration has given to the country and to the business sector. “As President Cory’s leadership was an inspiring one, President Noynoy’s is one that is truly engaging and empowering. We salute the son as we love his mother,” he said.
Aside from the unveiling of the marker to commemorate the dedication of the ELJCC building, ABS-CBN also awarded this year’s winners of the 2010 Gawad Geny Lopez Jr. Bayaning Pilipino Awards and launched its Christmas campaign dubbed “Ngayong Pasko, Magniningning ang Pilipino” the same day.
Aquino said ABS-CBN’s much-anticipated annual Christmas themes highlights the joy of being a Filipino and has never failed to warm the hearts of Filipinos every Yuletide season.