MANILA - Politicians should not use their personal grudge as basis of their vote on ABS-CBN's bid for a new franchise, Sen. Nancy Binay said Wednesday, days after several House members aired grievances against the broadcast giant in committee hearings.
Binay, who has expressed support for ABS-CBN, underscored that her family, too, was not spared from media criticism when she ran for the Senate in 2013.
Her family was also accused of corruption linked to the construction of an allegedly overpriced parking building in Makati City months before her father, former Vice President Jejomar Binay, ran for the presidency in 2016.
"Kung salita lang ng hugot [against ABS-CBN], I think I can claim na kami ang winner nun... ABS-CBN was not fair to us. For me, that is a fact," Binay said in an online press conference.
(If it is just based on grudge against ABS-CBN, I think I can claim that we are the winner there.)
"Pero dapat hindi 'yun kasama sa issue ng pagre-renew ng franchise ng ABS-CBN. That is between me and ABS-CBN. 'Wag natin idamay buong bayan sa issue namin ng ABS-CBN," she said.
(But that should not be included in ABS-CBN's franchise renewal issue. That is between me and ABS-CBN. We should not drag the entire nation in our issues.)
"Sana 'yung personal bias isangtabi natin for the greater good ng ating mga kababayan," she said.
(I hope we can set aside personal bias for the greater good of our countrymen.)
Earlier this week, several House members criticized ABS-CBN's reportage on several issues, and questioned why their good deeds, like donations, were not being reported on the primetime news.
There were also some lawmakers who slammed the network's fictional shows for painting politicians as villains. Others claimed that the network did not give them enough airtime to explain allegations against them.
"Remedies" have always been available for people who feel wronged because of a news report, the senator said.
"Puwede mag-file ng libel... Kami nagpunta kami sa Ombudsman ng ABS-CBN," Binay said.
(They can always file libel... What we did was file a complaint before ABS-CBN's Ombudsman.)
"As a public official, dapat matibay din dibdib mo sa pagpuna dahil bahagi 'yan ng mundo ng pulitiko na laging may babatikos at laging may hindi sasang-ayon," she said.
(As a public official, you also have to be strong against criticism because that is part of the world of politicians. We always have someone who will criticize us and who will not agree with us.)
Binay reminded lawmakers that ABS-CBN has played a crucial role in information dissemination, especially as the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) continues to threaten the Philippines' health and economic sectors.
"Alam naman natin na maraming lugar sa Pilipinas ang ABS lang ang may access," she said, noting that the Philippines' largest broadcast network can also play a big part in the country's shift to online, TV and radio classes during the global pandemic.
(We all know that there are several areas in the country that can only access ABS-CBN.)
"Ang issue ngayon is the access to information. As a public official, we should go beyond our personal issues and think ano makakabuti sa ating mga kababayan," she said.
(The issue now is the access to information. As a public official, we should go beyond our personal issues and think what would be good for our countrymen.)
"It's all about them (the public) and not 'yung pangangailangan natin as individuals (our needs as individuals)," she said.