ABS-CBN’s shutdown not replay of Marcosian maneuver – Palace
MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang on Monday “vehemently” disagreed with claims that the denial of granting ABS-CBN a new franchise was a move similar to its first closure during the dictatorship of former President Ferdinand Marcos.
“With all due respect we disagree, but we do so vehemently. Alam po natin ang nangyari dun po sa panahon ng martial law, may prangkisa po, pinasara. Pero ang nangyari po ngayon, napaso ang prangkisa, hindi po na-renew,” Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said.
(“With all due respect we disagree, but we do so vehemently. We all know that what happened during martial law was that there was a franchise, but the network was closed down. But what happened now is that the franchise expired and it was not renewed.)
This after Vice President Leni Robredo said history repeated itself when ABS-CBN was denied a new franchise. The country’s biggest broadcast company was first shut down during martial law in 1972.
“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 over the weekend.
(I thought when we fought the dictator, we learned its lessons. But history repeats itself — the lesson will repeat itself.)
After 13 grueling marathon hearings, the House committee on legislative franchises voted 70-11 to deny the franchise bid of ABS-CBN.
The network has been off the air since early May after its television and radio operations nationwide were ordered shut following the expiration of its 25-year franchise, the renewal of which was pending in Congress at the time.
“Alam ko po na sinasabi nila na ang issue nito ay karapatan ng malayang pamamahayag pero ang pamamahayag po ay nakadepende sa prangkisa. Kinakailangan masunod ang din probisyon ng Konstitusyon na dapat ang prangkisa nanggagaling sa mababang kapulungan,” Roque went on.
(I know that what they’re saying is that this is a press freedom issue but to continue broadcasting depends on the issuance of a franchise. The provision of the Constitution that franchisees need to emanate from the lower chamber of Congress should be followed.)
The Palace official also maintained his earlier pronouncement that the House panel vote was the “decision of the people.”
But a Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey showed that 75 percent of Filipinos agree that Congress must grant media broadcasting company another 25-year franchise.
“Sa ating Saligang-Batas ang meron tayo ay representative democracy,” Roque said.
(Under our Constitution, we have a representative democracy.)
“Ang huhusga po sa mga reprisentante ay pagdating po ng eleksyon. Tama pa rin po ang aking sinabi dahil nakasaad po sa ating Saligang Batas yan,” he added.
(The Filipino people will be the ones to judge their representatives during elections. What I said was correct because it is provided under the Constitution.) [ac]
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