MANILA - The Integrated Bar of the Philippines pleaded Friday with lawmakers and the Supreme Court to act swiftly on the broadcast shutdown of ABS-CBN Corp over its stalled franchise.
The House of Representatives can use teleconferencing to tackle several bills seeking the franchise renewal of the country's top broadcaster, which lawmakers "dribbled" for 3 years, said IBP President Domingo Cayosa.
The Supreme Court, he said, can use the same electronic platform to weigh on ABS-CBN's plea for the resumption of its broadcast, which the National Telecommunications Commission stopped Tuesday, a day after the license of the network expired.
"Kung gusto e hahanapan o gagawan ng paraan. Kung ayaw, hahanapan din ng dahilan," Cayosa told DZMM.
(If they want to, they will find ways. If they don't, they will look for excuses.)
"Hindi natin puwedeng pilitin ang mga congressman, pati na iyong Supreme Court kasi they can take their sweet time. Pero ang amin pong pakiusap, gawin naman ho nila ang kanilang trabaho sa takda at lalong madaling panahon," he said.
(We cannot force congressmen and the Supreme Court because they can take their sweet time. However, we request that they do their jobs swiftly.)
The NTC's cease-and-desist order against ABS-CBN came days after the government's lead lawyer, Solicitor General Jose Calida, pressed it to stop the network's operation instead of allowing it to operate provisionally while lawmakers have yet to discuss its franchise.
The commission, under oath, told lawmakers last March that it would grant the media and internet giant provisional authority -- a move backed by both Congress and the justice department.
"Sa aming paningin, hindi naman ho makatarungan na bigla-bigla mong isinara at hindi mo binigyan ng pagkakataon na depensahan at i-explain ang kanilang posisyon," said IBP's Cayosa.
(In our view, it was not fair that you suddenly closed ABS-CBN without giving it a chance to defend itself and explain their position.)
"Hindi lang ho [ito] usapang legal -- kundi iyong fairness, iyong tama, makatarungan dapat," he added.
(This is not just a legal issue, but rather, a question of fairness and propriety.)
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