Atienza blames Congress, Cayetano for ABS-CBN shutdown
MANILA - Buhay party-list Rep. Lito Atienza on Wednesday said Congress has failed to address the franchise renewal of ABS-CBN and its shutdown falls squarely on the shoulders of Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano.
“Kasalanan ni Speaker Cayetano ito. Pagkukulang niya ito sa bayan. He will have a lot to explain one day. It may not be today but later on, this issue will hound him because he’s the one who did not do his job even the President kept on reminding him do your job, magtrabaho na kayo aksiyunan n'yo yan. What did we do? Nothing,” Atienza said on ANC’s Headstart.
The Kapamilya network signed off after airing its live broadcast of TV Patrol on Tuesday night following a cease and desist order issued on the same day by the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC).
“I can't blame the NTC. I don’t agree na tatawagin pa ang NTC para parusahan. Bakit NTC ang parurusahan? Parusahan natin sarili natin,” he said.
Atienza said 11,000 ABS-CBN workers may lose their jobs as a result of the shutdown, He added the shutdown has deprived millions of Filipinos of free entertainment.
“Speaker Cayetano is doing something else. Para siyang si Nero. While Rome was burning, he was playing music in his chamber....Congress has failed the Filipino people, and we should answer for it,” he said.
Atienza said the ABS-CBN franchise renewal can be approved quickly if it was included in the agenda.
“In one day puwede naming aprubahan ito. Pag ito nilagay sa agenda, sa plenary ngayong hapon, kung gusto nilang pagdebatihan, pagdebatihan pa namin, tapos pagbotohan. In one day matatapos 'yung trabaho,” he said.
Whether the franchise renewal gets approved or not is immaterial, he said.
“Wag mong upuan, wag mong pabayaang manaig ang mali. Ito ay mananatili sa rekord ng Kongreso. This is one of the worst days for Philippine Congress,” he said.
He also urged Palawan 1st District Rep. Franz Alvarez, head of the House Committee on Legislative Franchises, to come clean.
“Si Chairman Alvarez, huwag ka nang mambola. Hindi mo tine-take up, ikaw ang chairman. Sabihin mo na ang totoo, ayaw ipa-agenda ni Speaker Cayetano kaya hindi itine-take up ito,” said Atienza.
He called on colleagues in the lower house to speak up about the issue.