Sell ABS-CBN? ‘No one should force anyone to sell nor buy’ — Cayetano
MANILA, Philippines — “We’re a democracy. No one should force anyone to sell nor buy.”
House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano said this Thursday after House Deputy Speaker Luis Raymund Villafuerte Jr. earlier urged the Lopez family to just sell ABS-CBN if they really care for its over 11,000 employees following the broadcast giant’s franchise denial.
“Ang narinig kong sinabi ni LRay na kung mahal ng Lopezes and empleyado nila, consider na i-sell because para tumuloy-tuloy pa rin intact ‘yung grupo nila,” Cayetano said in an interview with CNN Philippines’ The Source.
Cayetano likewise reiterated that while the concept of ABS-CBN’s workers forming a cooperative that could manage the network could be difficult, it is not impossible.
“So if you’re asking me is it possible for the ABS-CBN employees including their big stars to takeover both entertainment and news and public affairs, ang answer ko is yes. Is it easy? Definitely no,” Cayetano said.
“Ang nakita ko lang, even those who are very much against the franchise, wala silang personal sa ABS itself at sa mga empleyado. Their main issue really is how the owners of ABS-CBN used the network contrary to law and public policy to push for their own interest,” he added.
In an earlier interview with ABS-CBN News Channel, Villafuerte said he will support the franchise renewal of the network under new management and ownership.
“My suggestion to the Lopez family, they just sell the corporation, and if they really love the 11,000 employees or more and if they really want to serve the Filipino people, ibenta na lang nila ‘yung kumpanya (they should just sell the company),” said the lawmaker, who was among the 70 congressmen who voted against the granting of a franchise for the media giant.
An overwhelming 70 lawmakers in the House of Representatives’ legislative franchises committee earlier voted against granting ABS-CBN a franchise, with only 11 lawmakers voting for the granting of the franchise.
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.