House leader on ABS-CBN hearings: We’re one-sided? That’s fake news
MANILA, Philippines — A House leader has insisted on the fairness in the hearings being conducted on media giant ABS-CBN’s bid for a 25-year franchise, dubbing as “fake news and unacceptable” those claims that the hearings are one-sided.
“Hindi natin dapat sabihin na biased ‘yung hearing na ito. Lahat ng nagsabi niyan siguro nakalimutang manuod thoroughly ng hearing natin, ‘yan clearly ay fake news,” Bulacan 1st District Rep. Jose Antonio Sy-Alvarado, who chairs the House committee on good government and public accountability, said in an interview with INQUIRER.net.
(We should not say that the hearings are biased. Those who said that maybe forgot to watch thoroughly the hearings. That is fake news.)
Sy-Alvarado’s committee is handling the hearings on ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal bid together with the House committee on legislative franchises chaired by Palawan 1st District Rep. Franz Alvarez.
“Kinakausap natin ang anti kung sila ba ay may nararamdamang hindi patas na pagturing ng mga chairman. Kinakausap din natin madalas ang mga taga-pro kasama na ang ABS-CBN kung sila ba ay may dinadamdam na hindi patas ang hearing na ito,” Sy-Alvarado said.
(We talk with those against the franchise and ask them if they are feeling that there is unfairness from the chairmen. We are also speaking to those for the franchise including ABS-CBN if they feel that the hearings are unfair.)
“Sa akin namang pakiwari ay lahat naman ay masaya pwera lang sa iilan na nagpahayag ng kanilang pagkadismaya,” the lawmaker added.
(For me, everyone is happy except for a few who have expressed their dismay.)
To recall, Buhay Rep. Lito Atienza earlier accused those against granting ABS-CBN a franchise of monopolizing the proceedings, adding that Deputy Speaker Rodante Marcoleta is “enjoying obviously immense advantage” in the hearings since he is not being interrupted with his interpellations.
But Sy-Alvarado noted that during Tuesday’s hearing in particular, there seemed to be more pro-ABS-CBN lawmakers who spoke compared to those against the franchise.
“Hindi natin masasabi na one-sided and hearing na ito. Sabi ko nga po, kung binigyan ko ng 30 minuto ang anti-ABS, bibigyan ko rin ng 30 minuto ang pro. Kung mayrong hindi gumamit ng isang minuto at nasayang pa, pinapabayaan ko na gamitin ng iba sa mga kasama nila sa pagtatanong ‘yung isa o kahit kalahating minuto na natitira,” Sy-Alvarado said.
(We cannot say that the hearings are one-sided. As I said, if we give 30 minutes to those against the ABS-CBN franchise, I would also give 30 minutes to those who are pro. If there is still unused time, even a minute, we allow their peers to use it in their questioning even if that is just a minute or half a minute.)
Sy-Alvarado believes that the joint committees are close to doing a “good job” if only one or two lawmakers have complaints regarding the conduct of the hearings.
“Wala na kayong mahahanap na mas fair, mas patas, at mas komprehensibong hearing kesa sa binigay nating hearing,” Sy-Alvarado said.
(You cannot find a fairer and more comprehensive hearing than this.)
“Sana ay kilabutan naman yung mga taong nagsasabi na hindi tayo patas, fake news po yan at iyan ay isang kalapastanganan sa lahat ng bumubuo ng joint committee na ito lalong lalo na sa ating Speaker,” the lawmaker added.
(I hope those who are saying that we are unfair should feel chills about themselves. That is fake news and a disrespect to the members of the joint committee including our Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano.)
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