MANILA - Vice President Leni Robredo on Sunday said she is supportive of filing measures that would grant ABS-CBN a franchise.
Senate President Vicente Sotto III last week 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.
"Supportive ako, at tingin ko iyon iyong tamang paraan, iyong paghain ni Senator Tito Sotto saka ni Congresswoman Vilma Santos-Recto ng pag-approve ng panibagong franchise para sa ABS-CBN," Robredo said in her weekly radio show.
(I'm supportive and I think this is the right way, the filing of Sen. Tito Sotto and Cong. Vilma Santos-Recto, to approve a new franchise for ABS-CBN.)
"Kung mayroong kasalanan o mayroong pagkukulang ang ABS, panagutin. Pero kung wala naman, huwag naman sana. Ito, Ka Ely, hindi kasi ito parusa lang sa ABS, eh. Parusa ito sa lahat na umaasa sa ABS-CBN."
(If ABS-CBN has any wrongdoing, then let them pay for it. But if there's none, let us not punish them because it also punishes everyone who depends on the network.)
The Vice President said giving ABS-CBN a franchise would help disseminate information in far-flung areas. After the denial of its franchise in July, the network shuttered 53 regional television and radio stations across the country, on which the public relied for information especially during typhoon season.
"Sa kaiikot namin sa maraming mga lugar, grabe iyong epekto sa kanila—lalo sa malalayo, grabe iyong epekto sa kanila ng pagsasara ng ABS-CBN, dahil maraming malalayong lugar, Ka Ely, na ABS-CBN iyong may presence, at ABS-CBN iyong inaasahan nila para sa information," she said.
(Everywhere we went, especially in far-flung areas, the shutdown gravely affected them because they only rely on ABS-CBN for information.)
Robredo also called for "fair" proceedings.
"Maraming, maraming mga maliliit na mga nagtatrabaho sa ABS na sobrang kawawa na nawalan ng trabaho. Sana sa pag-file nito hindi kasama iyong mga personal na galit," she said.
(There are many small employees in ABS-CBN who lost their jobs. I hope that there's nothing personal in the filing of this bill.)
"Sana very fair iyong prosesong mangyari. Kasi, gaya ng sabi ko, hindi lang ito dine-deserve ng mga taga-ABS, pero dine-deserve ito ng mga communities na nawalan talaga ng source of news saka entertainment noong nawala lalo na iyong mga ABS-CBN regional offices."
(I hope the process will be very fair. Because like I said, ABS-CBN does not only deserve this but also the communities that lost their source of news and entertainment with the shutdown of ABS-CBN regional offices.)