Bato to support giving ABS-CBN franchise if issues addressed ‘properly’
MANILA, Philippines — While it is still “too early to tell,” Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa said he would support the franchise application of media giant ABS-CBN if the network will be able to address “properly and satisfactorily” the issues being thrown at them.
Dela Rosa made the remark Tuesday, saying that it is still the function of the Congress—and not the president—to grant a franchise to ABS-CBN.
“It’s too early to tell. kung makalusot yan sa both houses of the Congress at nakita ko na na-address properly and exhaustively and satisfactorily lahat ng issues na binabato sa ABS-CBN, bakit hindi ko pipirmahan [why shouldn’t I sign it]?” Dela Rosa said.
“Pipirmahan ko ‘yan basta satisfied ako sa lahat ng pag-deliberate sa issues. Masagot ‘yung lahat ng issues, bakit di ko pipirmahan? Pero kung hindi satisfactorily ma-address lahat ng issues, then baka magda-dalawang-isip ako [I will sign it once I will be satisfied in the deliberations on the issues. But if I’m not, I will be thinking twice],” he added.
A number of issues were thrown against ABS-CBN during its franchise bid in 2020 such as the citizenship of the network’s chairman emeritus Gabby Lopez, alleged labor violations, tax evasion, as well as alleged political bias, among others.
While ABS-CBN defended itself and government agencies cleared the network from the allegations, the House committee on legislative franchises voted 70-11 to shut the door to ABS-CBN.
Days before ABS-CBN’s franchise was denied, Dela Rosa was criticized after advising the over 11,000 ABS-CBN employees to just find other jobs should the media outfit close up shop with the non-renewal of its franchise.
Dela Rosa clarified this on Tuesday, saying he was only advising the employees to look for jobs to help their families survive.
“Napakaganda naman ng aking advice sa mga trabahante ng ABS-CBN. Bakit kinukutya ko ba sila? Pinuput down ko ba sila? Hindi naman,” Dela Rosa said.
(I have good advice to the workers of ABS-CBN. Did I mock them? Did I put them down? I didn’t.)
“Ang aking purpose noon ay para mabuhay ‘yung pamilya ninyo, ang advice ko sa inyo for the meantime ay maghanap muna ng ibang trabaho dahil anong gawin nyo ngayon, magsigi-ngawa-ngawa dyan?” he added.
(My purpose is for your family to survive, my advice is for you to find another job because you have nothing else to do.)
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