Buhay Partylist Representative Lito Atienza is not skeptical in the slightest that under the new leadership of House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco, ABS-CBN will be granted a franchise renewal in 2021.
In a recent chance interview, he expressed confidence that ABS-CBN will be given justice after it got shut down which forced the downsizing of operations.
“Hindi hula yun, that’s a reality mangyayari ‘yun nang tanungin ko rin tungkol dito. I am really confident, justice will prevail by next year,” he said.
“They were maltreated, they were maltreated, they were eventually assassinated, so they should be given justice.”
He will not be pressuring Velasco to immediately work on ABS-CBN’s franchise but he has no doubt that the Kapamilya network will rise once again.
“Ako, I am just giving the new Speaker time to settle. Hindi naman natin puwedeng biglain, major battle, kauupo lamang niya. But I am not shying away from the responsibility and for the opportunity to come – that I’m working on – para maibalik natin ‘yung floor discussion. Hindi ‘yung special firing squad. Ang pumatay sa ABS-CBN, firing squad lang, eh,” he added.
According to representatives from the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), ABS-CBN has committed no violations.
“They are regularly filing and paying their taxes for the past number of years,” said Simplicio Cabantac, Jr., head of a unit of the BIR Large Taxpayers Service, during a Senate Committee on Public Services.
SEC Commissioner Ephyro Luis Amatong even admitted that he knows nothing of any violations by ABS-CBN.
Atienza is also certain that PDP-Laban president Manny Pacquiao will be gunning for the presidency in the 2022 national elections.
“He’s running for president,” he said.
However, he is not sure if the senator gets his vote as there have been rumors that Manila Mayor Isko Moreno and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte are also eyeing the position.
“Pag tumakbo si Manny medyo mahihirapan ako. Kasi si Manny, si Mayor Isko Moreno and Mayor Sarah Duterte.” he added.
He shared how Pacquiao has contemplated becoming president for quite some time.
“Manny is seriously thinking and planning to run for president. He already told me that. And I told him to consider it not only once, twice, not only thrice, 10X more, consider, consider, isipin mong maigi ‘yan.” he said.
Prior to his stardom, Pacquiao always told Atienza that he would run for president if the opportunity presented itself.
“Nung unang panahon pa, hindi pa siya sikat na Manny Pacquiao nagsabi siya sa akin na kung magkakaroon siya pagkakataon tatakbo siyang pangulo. Sabi ko bakit? Sagot niya. ‘Kasi ang problema ng bansa ang mahihirap patuloy na naghihirap, ang mayayaman patuloy na yumayaman,we have to correct that,’” said Atienza, who has been like a father figure to the senator.
He said that Pacquiao sees a huge problem in the poor getting poorer and the rich getting richer.
“I know his [way of] thinking, I know his emotion, I know his heart, his background, he has every right to think about it,” Atienza said.