Cayetano: ‘Read findings carefully’ on denial of ABS-CBN franchise
MANILA, Philippines — House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano urged the public on Friday to “read the findings carefully” as he sought understanding for the decision that denied the bid of media giant ABS-CBN’ for a fresh 25-year franchise.
Cayetano made the remark after an overwhelming 70 lawmakers voted to “deny the franchise application of ABS-CBN Corporation for a franchise to construct, install, establish, operate and maintain radio and broadcasting stations in the Philippines.”
“As the Committee members have voted to deny the franchise application, the House Leadership asks that the people read the findings carefully in order to appreciate the reasons for their decision,” Cayetano said in a Facebook post.
“And for those who do not agree, at the least, understand why the decision had to be so,” he added.
Cayetano likewise expressed hopes that the public will eventually respect the decision of the committee.
“This has by no means been an easy process for anyone involved in these proceedings, and I can assure our kababayans that the final resolution was not arrived at by the Committee without serious consideration as to the overall impact it will have on the nation,” Cayetano said.
“I pray that despite our differences, we will eventually come to respect the decision of the committee and its members, and begin to move forward in rebuilding the relationships that have been strained by this issue,” the House Speaker added.
The vote came after the House legislative franchise and good government and public accountability committees held 13 hearings tackling various issues such as citizenship of the network’s chairman emeritus Gabby Lopez, alleged labor violations, tax evasion, as well as alleged political bias, among others.
But in the end, only 11 lawmakers voted to give ABS-CBN its franchise, while two inhibited and one abstained.
“We have committed and delivered a time for Congress – through the Committee on Legislative Franchise – to conduct a fair, impartial, thorough, and comprehensive hearing on the franchise application of the Lopez-owned ABSCBN corporation,” Cayetano said.
“Because of the highly partisan nature of this issue, we accepted from the start that there would be those who will vehemently disagree with the committee’s decision, no matter what they resolve,” he added.
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