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Go’s call to tackle ABS-CBN franchise ‘clear signal’ from Duterte — solon

/ 01:18 PM February 20, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Ako Bicol Party-list Rep. Alfredo Garbin Jr. on Thursday said Senator Christopher “Bong” Go’s call for the House of Representatives to act on the franchise renewal bid of media giant ABS-CBN is a “clear signal” from President Rodrigo Duterte to proceed with it.

Garbin, who is a member of the House committee on legislative franchises, said that Go is the “eyes and ears” of Duterte in many issues.

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“Klaradong signal ‘yan para sa akin, that’s a clear signal,” Garbin told INQUIRER.net in a phone interview when asked about Go’s call towards the lower chamber.

The lawmaker said Duterte courses through Go some pronouncements that the president “could not say,” such as the government’s imposition of a travel ban on visitors from mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau on the height of the coronavirus disease-2019, which was first verbalized by Go.

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“Look at it that way, sa tingin ko, ganun din yun eh (I think it’s the same)— I put it that way, sa tingin ko, minsan yung di masabi ni Presidente, pinapadaan kay Senator Bong Go (I think, sometimes, things that the President could not say are coursed through Senator Bong Go),” Garbin said.

Asked if Go’s call for the House to tackle ABS-CBN’s franchise means a “go signal” from Duterte, Garbin said: “I think so, sabi ko nga, siya yung mata at tenga ni Presidente, minsan sa karamihan na issue. At kino-course through din sa kanya yung announcement.”

(I think so, as I said, Go is the eyes and ears of the President in many issues and announcements are coursed through him.)

“Klarado naman (It’s clear), that’s clear and unequivocal and not susceptible to so many interpretations,” he added.

On Thursday, Go said that all franchise bills should emanate from the House.

“Mas lalo nating pinapatagal, mas lalong umiinit ‘yung issue. Pagusapan niyo na and then, ito naman ‘yung proseso— pagusapan, then papadala dito sa Senado and then the President will decide. Hayaan natin siyang mag-decision to approve or to exercise his power to veto,” Go said.

(The more we prolong it, the more it becomes a hot issue. Tackle it now and then, here’s the process anyway — you discuss it, then send it to the Senate and then the President will decide. Let’s allow him to make a decision to approve or to exercise his power to veto.)

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Sevaral bills on ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal are still pending in the House of Representatives.

Republic Act No. 3846 requires television and radio broadcasting companies to secure a franchise from the government before they are allowed to operate. It is Congress that will decide whether to extend the franchise to public utilities, such as the media.

But Duterte himself, in numerous occasions, has said that he would block the franchise renewal of ABS-CBN due to supposed “violations” committed by the media giant.

House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano has previously said that hearings in Congress to tackle the issue will be conducted “at the appropriate time.”

Edited by EDV
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TAGS: ABS-CBN, ABS-CBN franchise, Bong Go, Rodrigo Duterte
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