Senate President Vicente Sotto III asked Senator Sonny Angara to show respect to the other television networks like GMA and TV5 after the closure of ABS-CBN.
During the Senate Session on May 5, Angara criticized the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) for ordering ABS-CBN to close down.
According to Angara, the move of the NTC was against the Resolution 40 filed by the Senate asking the commission to give “provisional authority” to ABS-CBN to operate until May 4, 2020 to June 30, 2022.
“I just got the news that NTC issued a cease and desist order against ABS-CBN in contravention of the resolution passed by both houses of Congress, last March 11, that was our last big session before we vote for the recess, I think that was the day when the majority leader (Miguel Zubiri) infected me with the virus,” Angara who’s a COVID-19 survivor said.
Angara pointed out the importance of ABS-CBN especially during the COVID-19 crisis in the country.
“I just want to express my reservations regarding this because in the time of the virus people need to be informed by reliable sources, this is the time when we need reliable information and we decide to shut down one of the sources that are practically in the houses of every Filipino,” the Senator said.
“So where is the Filipinos gonna get this news now? From the internet where there’s a lot of fake news? From text where there’s a lot of spam text? Well, it is very disappointing on the part of NTC,” he added.
Sotto then responded to Angara, saying that the latter sounded that only ABS-CBN has the ability to deliver reliable news to the Filipinos.
“We do understand the point of Senator Angara, but perhaps we should give due respect to channel 7 and channel 5, it sounded like it’s (ABS-CBN) the only station that we can get our news from,” the Senate President said.
Senator Sonny’s wife, Elvira “Tootsy” Angara is one of the high-ranking official of ABS-CBN, working as an executive in the sales department of the television network.
On May 5, ABS-CBN was forced to sign off to comply with the cease and desist order by NTC against them.
Most of the Senators supported the franchise renewal of ABS-CBN and even asked NTC to allow the network to operate while the Congress is discussing the issues being faced by the television network giant.