Buhay Party-list Representative Lito Atienza urged his colleagues in Congress to act as soon as possible on reviewing the franchise of ABS-CBN.
House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano said in a recent interview that ABS-CBN’s franchise is not a priority of the Congress and they need to discuss more important issues instead of focusing on the renewal of the broadcasting company.
However, Atienza insisted that the ABS-CBN franchise issue is an “important and urgent matter” which should not be ignored by lawmakers.
He also believes that Congress are doing delaying tactics to prevent ABS-CBN to get a franchise renewal.
“In other words, pinagpapasa pasahan ang bola, ang mangyayari diyan walang aksyon, pag walang aksyon magsasara ang ABS (CBN)… I don’t want ABS (CBN) to just close down ng hindi pinagbotohan ng kongreso,” said Atienza.
Atienza also told lawmakers that the Congress should also close down if they’re not planning to discuss the franchise of ABS-CBN.
“Kung hindi gagalaw ang Kongreso, magsara na lang tayo at wala naman tayong silbi,” the lawmaker said.
“I challenge the committee chair of legislative franchises, kung di ka magtatrabaho hindi naman pwedeng lahat kami apektabo, apektabo ang buong bansa. [To] the Speaker, if you don’t want to work, we want to work,” he added.
While Atienza is rushing to discuss the ABS-CBN franchise in the Congress, House Speaker Cayetano wants to talk about the franchise renewal of the broadcasting company when everyone is calm already.
According to Cayetano, despite not getting a franchise approval before March 2020, ABS-CBN may still operate in the next two years.
“Don’t get me wrong, napaka importante ng franchise ng ABS-CBN, hindi lang sa 11,000 empleyado, importante ito sa buong bansa, sa demokrasya natin, pero hindi ganon ka urgent, bakit? Kasi hanggang march 2022 pwedeng mag operate eh,” Cayetano said.
Cayetano explained that discussing the franchise renewal now could only drain the energy of the 18th Congress.
“Pustahan tayo, lahat ng anti, pipila makapagsalita. Lahat ng pro, pipila para magsalita. Kaya kung gusto ko mag-grandstand lang, ay papatawag na ‘ko ng hearing kaagad,” Cayetano said.
“The who’s who of the Philippines, lahat ng celebrities, basketball players, media, mag-aattend kayong lahat e. Pero is it the right timing? Tanungin niyo. Tayo ba lahat nasa right frame of mind ngayon o may mga init ng ulo pa?” he added.
“When the time comes, but definitely before March 2022. Possibly, in May, if we have enough time and we have cooler heads and with all the issues. Worst case, after SONA,” he also said.