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Rep. Mike Defensor wants a debate with former colleague about ABS-CBN franchise renewal issue

Tañada tweeted back saying he “welcomes” the idea of a debate but it would only give “free exposure for both of us” since they’d only be reiterating the discussions during the hearings.

Anakalusgan Rep. Mike Defensor has had enough of his former colleague Erin Tañada “openly attacking me on the ABS-CBN issue.” and wants to debate with him on the matter.

Defensor and Tañada were both student activists during their National Union of Students of the Philippines (NUSP) days.

“I note that my former colleague and Chairman in the NUSP [Erin Tañada] has been openly attacking me on the ABS-CBN issue. To be fair, since he is not in Congress to debate me in plenary, I invite him to debate publicly, on the issues as regards the franchise,” Defensor tweeted on Wednesday.

Tañada tweeted back saying he “welcomes” the idea of a debate but it would only give “free exposure for both of us” since they’d only be reiterating the discussions during the hearings.

“Hi [Mike Defensor]. I welcome the opportunity to debate with you! But what will the debate achieve, the possible renewal of the franchise? Will it restore the livelihood of the workers who will lose their jobs? We both know that the answer is No,” Tañada said.

In response, Defensor said he would “make the motion for reconsideration” if his former colleague’s arguments are “more superior” than his.

“Cong [Erin Tañada], how can you attack someone and not accept his invitation to a public debate in the spirit of fair play and transparency?” Defensor asked.

“If your arguments are more superior, I promise to make the motion for reconsideration in Congress. So yes, the debate can help ABS-CBN,” he added.

Defensor said on Tuesday that ABS-CBN was not handed the “death penalty”, but rather only “life imprisonment,” but “there is time to reform.”

Tañada responded to Defensor’s remarks saying: “Eh ikaw kaibigan, may pag-asa ka bang ma-reform? Ano tingin ninyo?”

Tañada also earlier shared a tweet of Defensor’s daughter, Mikee, who found it devastating that her father voted against giving ABS-CBN a franchise when she herself supports Kapamilya. 

Tañada praised her “courageous stand.”

“Hi [Mikee Defensor]. Your father was my Vice-President at the National Union of Students of the Philippines (NUSP). I congratulate you for your courageous stand. You are the Mike Defensor I knew when we were marching in the streets. I hope you don’t change,” Tañada said.

Tañada is a member of the Liberal Party and used to serve as Deputy Speaker of the Philippine House of Representatives.


He is mostly known for authoring the “Anti-Torture Act of 2009” (Republic Act No. 9749), the “Philippine Act on Crimes Against International Humanitarian Law, Genocide, and Other Crimes Against Humanity” (Republic Act No. 9851), and the “Renewable Energy Act of 2008” (RA 9513).

Written by JO-EST B. TAN

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