Move vs denial of ABS-CBN franchise 'shorter route' to revive network: solon

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 06 2021 10:30 AM

Protesters led by DefendJobs Philippines hold a protest condemning the retrenchment of thousands of ABS-CBN workers, caused by the denial of its franchise renewal, outside the ABS-CBN Broadcasting Center in Sgt Esguerra, Quezon City on August 31, 2020. The labor groups tagged the 70 solons who voted against the renewal as "modern-day traitors of the working class & people in time” as the country commemorates National Heroes’ Day. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The filing of a motion for reconsideration against the denial of a fresh franchise for ABS-CBN Corp is the shorter route to revive the network, a lawmaker said Wednesday.

Buhay Rep. Lito Atienza made the remark after Senate President Vicente Sotto III filed a bill seeking to give a fresh franchise to ABS-CBN while Batangas 6th District Rep. Vilma Santos-Recto said she would do the same at the House of Representatives.

The "least" the House can do is to "react" to Sotto's bill and "resolve the issue" which remains in its agenda, Atienza said.

"That’s one mode of doing it. In my opinion, there’s a shorter route and that is to file a motion for reconsideration, the matter is still on the table. It was laid on the table at the committee level so technically under our rules, pwede sabihin ng plenary 'yung nakastandby d'yan na ABS-(CBN) bill. It appears on our agenda everyday, the ABS-(CBN) issue still on our agenda as an unfinished business," he told ANC's Headstart.

(It was laid on the table at the committee level so technically under our rules, the plenary can cite the ABS-CBN bill on standby.)

"Yun ang (That is the) shorter route. Without filing a new bill we can take up what is on our agenda these past months and take it up fairly, allowing both sides to speak freely and make a decision on the plenary level."

Under the current House leadership, the plenary can have a "free debate" on the issue that is "not dictated or railroaded," Atienza said.

"I am just relying on the character of the new Speaker, he’s not the type to double-cross and double talk and deal with everybody with a sleight of hand," he said.

"The issue is still at rest at that level and I believe it can be pulled out by the plenary now and reconsider. In the new leadership that we have now I am also convinced we will have a free debate on the issue na hindi (that is not) dictated and hindi (not) railroaded."

Atienza maintained that President Rodrigo Duterte, who has many times threatened to shut down the network, was not involved in the chamber's denial of franchise to ABS-CBN in July.

"I still believe what Malacañang says, they have nothing to do with the decision, it was purely a Congressional action coming from (former) Speaker’s own position on the issue," he said,

"Until I've been told by the President myself 'you do that, this is what I want,' I will not believe those accusations. Those are made up issues to sugarcoat the questionable issue."

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