MANILA — Deputy House Speaker Paolo Duterte said Tuesday ABS-CBN Corp. "should not worry" about his stance on its franchise renewal because this would be up for all members of Congress' lower chamber to decide.
President Rodrigo Duterte's eldest son made the statement after Philippine Star, quoting 2 House insiders, reported that the lawmaker "silently opposed" bills seeking the renewal of ABS-CBN franchise, set to expire on May 4.
"Right now, I am leaving it to the [House franchise] committee and ultimately, to all the members of the House of Representatives to decide on this matter," said Paolo.
"At the end of the day, I am just one vote. Let’s wait for that day. ABS-CBN should not worry about my position on this, because I will do my job to the best of my ability," he added.
The country's largest media and entertainment network "should learn to be patient," said the Congress representative of Davao City's first district.
Paolo's sister Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio expressed her support for a new license to operate for ABS-CBN after their father accepted its apology over the airing of critical campaign commercial in 2016.
House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano said his chamber might tackle several bills for ABS-CBN's franchise in May or after President Rodrigo Duterte's State of the Nation Address in July.
Cayetano said the National Telecommunications Commission should give the country's largest media network a provisional permit to operate past its franchise expiration on May 4, while lawmakers tackle its license renewal.
ABS-CBN is also facing a challenge lodged before the Supreme Court by Solicitor General Jose Calida. The government's lead lawyer sought to nullify ABS-CBN's franchise due to alleged abuses like illegal pay-per-view offering and foreign ownership.
The network, which reaches millions of Filipinos through its television, radio and online platforms, said it "did not violate the law" in its 65-year service.
News.abs-cbn.com is the official news website of ABS-CBN Corp.
With a report from RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News