Cayetano twits ‘sipsip’ individuals amid ABS-CBN franchise woes
MANILA, Philippines — Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano has downplayed the Senate hearing on ABS-CBN’s franchise, merely seeing it as an “attendance” for those who seem to just want to curry favor to one of the country’s largest media networks.
In a press conference on Monday afternoon at the House of Representatives, Cayetano said: “Parang naga-attendance ngayon lahat ng gustong sumipsip sa ABS-CBN (It’s like there is an attendance among those who want to curry favor to ABS-CBN),” when asked about the possibility of a concurrent resolution authorizing the National Telecommunications Commission to allow ABS-CBN to continue its operations even if its franchise expires before House lawmakers decide on its bid for franchise renewal.
Cayetano was then asked if he was referring to politicians, to which he responded: “Bakit nag-hearing ang Senate? Anong purpose? Parang naga-attendance e, ‘Hello, I’m here, I’m for you’, ‘di ba? Kasi sabi nila, it’s not for the franchise kasi hindi pa sila pwede mag-hearing sa franchise, nandito pa, so what is it for?”
(Why are they holding a hearing in the Senate? What is the purpose? It seems like there is an attendance, saying ‘Hello, I’m here, I’m for you.’ They said it is not for the franchise since they cannot hear it since it is still in the House, so what is it for?)
Senator Grace Poe’s committee on public services started hearing ABS-CBN’s franchise earlier Monday even without prior action from the House of Representatives, where at least 11 bills endorsing the franchise renewal of the network are still awaiting congressional action.
Poe said she will conduct the inquiry but would not yet release a committee report on the issue.
In an earlier interview, Cayetano questioned the constitutionality of this move, saying that franchise bills should emanate from the lower chamber.
Cayetano, however, vowed that ABS-CBN franchise hearings in the House will be organized and that all sides of the story will be heard.
Also earlier Monday, House committee on legislative franchises chair and Palawan Rep. Franz Alvarez has asked all parties involved in ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal to submit their position paper. This move only proves that “we are working hard” on the matter, according to panel vice-chair and Isabela Rep. Antonio Albano.
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