Bicol archbishop laments ‘weak, sluggish’ Congress move on ABS-CBN franchise renewal
LEGAZPI CITY — Archbishop Rolando Tria Tirona of the Archdiocese of Caceres expressed his dismay Thursday over what he called “weak and sluggish leadership” of the House of Representatives in settling the issues surrounding ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal.
He also called out the “heartless act” of the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), which issued a cease and desist order against the broadcasting giant on Tuesday.
“It is so obvious that (a) political distorted mind (is) behind the shutdown of ABS-CBN,” Tirona said in a statement. “No right thinking person can and will accept the lame explanations of the government on this issue.”
He said that the government’s “Heal As One” tagline as the country battles the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has become a joke and utter non-sense as more than 11,000 workers from the network take the blow.
For the first time after 47 years, the country’s biggest broadcaster was forced to go off air despite their franchise renewal still pending in Congress.
Earlier this year, the Department of Justice has advised allowing the network to operate while Congress while awaiting Congress’s decision.
“We stand side by side with the workers of ABS-CBN, and we call on Congress to speed up the granting of the franchise to ABS-CBN,” Tirona continued.
He called on the faithful to pray for the unemployed workers and for “the good of the nation, especially in this difficult time.”
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