- He said that it was only a way for those who wanted to be on the media giant’s good side.
- The Senator also said that the house will schedule a hearing about the issue despite it being moved several times as it’s “not urgent”.
In a press conference on Monday at the House of Representatives, Congressman Alan Peter Cayetano has downplayed the Senate hearing on ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal, saying that it’s merely an “attendance” for those who want to get the favor of one of the country’s largest media networks.
When asked about the possibility of a resolution authorizing the National Telecommunications Commission to allow the Kapamilya network to continue its operations even if its franchise expires before the House lawmakers can decide on the renewal, Cayetano answered, “Parang naga-attendance ngayon lahat ng gustong sumipsip sa ABS-CBN.”
Cayetano questioned the purpose of the hearing. “Bakit nag-hearing ang Senate? Anong purpose? Parang naga-attendance e, ‘Hello, I’m here, I’m for you’, ‘di ba? Kasi sabi nila, it’s not for the franchise kasi hindi pa sila pwede mag-hearing sa franchise, nandito pa, so what is it for?”
In an earlier interview, Cayetano also questioned the constitutionality of the move, saying that the franchise bills should emanate from the lower chamber.
Despite saying that the Congress won’t be tackling ABS-CBN’s renewal until May and with the statements against the hearing, he vowed that hearings in the House will be organized and all sides regarding the ABS-CBN issue will be heard.
“Bakit sinasabi kong hindi ito urgent? Don’t get me wrong, napaka-importante ng franchise ng ABS-CBN, hindi lang sa 11,000 empleyado… Pero hanggang March 2022 ay puwede silang mag-operate,” Cayetano said.
“Huwag kayong mag-alala dahil hindi naman mag-o-off the air ang inyong mga paboritong show. Pero sa ngayon, napakaraming importanteng inaasikaso ang Kongreso,” he added.
It can be remembered that Cayetano also said that the house will schedule a hearing before 2019 ends but rescheduled it to December of the same year. Despite saying that he lawmakers will tackle the matter in January and February of 2020, the House committee on legislative franchises has yet to act on them.