House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, on Tuesday, scored Senate committee on public services chairperson Grace Poe for pushing for the “unconstitutional” hearing of the Senate on the ABS-CBN franchise.
In an interview with the media, Cayetano said that Poe and other Senators are violating the constitution, explaining that the franchise of ABS-CBN should be heard first in the House of Representatives before the Senate.
“Ano ba sabi sa Constitution? Saan ba mag-uumpisa ang prangkisa? Sa House o sa Senate?” said Cayetano.
Cayetano said that he agreed with Senate President Vicente Sotto III’s statement that a hearing in the senate is useless if ever that the Congress decided to reject the franchise renewal of ABS-CBN.
“Sangayon ako dun kay Senate President Sotto nung sinabi niyang, ‘Anong ihi-hear mo?’ Kasi ‘pag dineny namin, wala siyang ihi-hear. Kapag in-approve namin, e ‘di may records na siya ng lahat ng nagsabing gusto at hindi, at 300 mahigit ang kongresista,” he said.
He also asked why the senators don’t want to talk about constitutional reforms in the Philippines, but rushing to discuss the franchise renewal of ABS-CBN.
“Nagtataka lang ako kay Senator Grace Poe at sa mga senador, kapag chacha ang pinagusapan ayaw nila, wag daw muna pag usapan, pero they feel free to violate the constitution,” he said.
Reports said that the senate hearing on ABS-CBN franchise is going to start next week.
Cayetano then explained that while the 11,000 jobs produced by ABS-CBN are important, the House Speaker pointed out that there are more important bills that should take care of by the Senate.
“Importante ba ang trabaho ng 11,000 employees ng ABSCBN? Oo naman. But is it more important than the hundreds of thousands of jobs that would be generated if the Senate acted quickly on the CITIRA law that Congress has already forwarded to them?” said Cayetano.
He then repeated that Congress should talk about the franchise renewal of ABS-CBN when everyone is already calm.
Cayetano said that they eyeing to discuss the ABS-CBN franchise in May or after the State of the Nation Address of President Rodrigo Duterte this year.
“I’m hoping talaga na May, but latest talaga is right after SONA (or) first week of August, depende sa sitwasyon natin sa May,” he said.