Robredo sees ‘pushback’ from Filipinos over ABS-CBN franchise denial
MANILA, Philippines — The denial by the House of Representatives of ABS-CBN’s franchise application is far from over as Vice President Leni Robredo sees a “pushback” from Filipinos over the lawmakers’ actions.
“Hindi pa ito tapos. Hindi pa tapos dahil mayroong pushback iyong mga tao. Gaya kagabi nakita ko sa Facebook, may mga nag-noise barrage. May mga nag-noise barrage,” Robredo said Sunday over her weekly radio show BISErbisyong Leni.
(It is not over yet. Not done yet because our people will have a pushback. As I saw last night on Facebook, there were noise barrages. There are noise barrages.)
After 13 grueling marathon hearings, the House committee on legislative franchises voted 70-11 to deny on Friday the consolidated bills which would have granted the embattled television network a fresh 25-year congressional franchise to resume its broadcast operations.
According to Robredo, Filipinos can tell whether or not the lawmakers were impartial on their decision to shut ABS-CBN’s franchise application
“Nanonood naman iyong tao ng mga hearings, so ako… iyong tao iyong makakapagsabi kung palagay ba nila naging impartial,” she said.
(Our people watched the hearings, so for me, people can tell if they think lawmakers have been impartial.)
The opposition stalwart likewise revealed that she did not expect ABS-CBN’s shutdown to happen again. The network was closed by the dictatorship of former President Ferdinand Marcos.
“Akala ko noong tayo ay lumaban sa diktador ay natuto na tayo ng mga leksyon. Pero nauulit ang kasaysayan—iyong aral mauulit din,” Robredo said.
(I thought when we fought the dictator, we learned its lessons. But history repeats itself — the lesson will repeat itself.)
“Napapapaniwala iyong tao some of the time, pero hindi all the time. Iyong tao marunong tumingin kung ano iyong katotohanan, at iyong katotohanan, sa kahuli-hulihan naman, iyon iyong lalabas eh.”
(The people may be convinced some of the time, but not all the time. The people know the truth, and the truth, in the end, will come out.)
ABS-CBN’s broadcast operations were ordered shut on May 5 following the expiration of its legislative franchise, in compliance with the National Telecommunications Commission’s (NTC) shutdown order.
The NTC order follows President Rodrigo Duterte’s public rants against the television network which he had repeatedly lambasted for not airing his 2016 presidential campaign advertisement.
In a speech on Dec. 3, 2019, Duterte said he will see to it that ABS-CBN is out.
Netizens, journalists, and other sectors including some Senators slammed the rejection of ABS-CBN’s franchise application as another attack on press freedom in the country.
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