When the House of Representatives again rejected ABS-CBN‘s demand for a new franchise, Vice President Leni Robredo had some suggestions for Filipinos disappointed by the actions of the legislators: recall their names and keep them responsible.
According to the Vice President, the change by the legislators — specifically the 70 who voted to follow a Technical Working Group (TWG) study refusing ABS-CBN its committee-level franchise — would push the public to think carefully regarding their decisions.
Previously, ABS-CBN ‘s franchise proposal was junked by the House subcommittee following the push by 70 lawmakers to follow the TWG. At least 11 senators voted against the study, with two inhibiting and one abstaining.
Robredo said this will have a negative impact on many media organizations’ editorial choices because it seems those that criticize government policy are deemed, regime opponents.
According to Robredo, ABS-CBN should be running right now because it is necessary to provide details, as the COVID-19 pandemic is still raging.
But apart from that, the pandemic would also make it difficult for employees who may be impacted by the network’s continuous shutdown — especially after ABS-CBN officials have already stated that they could start laying off workers by August if operations stay suspended.
House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano publicly blamed Robredo for claiming Congress was not functioning, stating they’ve done a lot of COVID-19 response-oriented legislation. Cayetano reacted to statements by the Vice President that the House should focus on caring for health workers rather than other things.’
The free television and radio transmissions of ABS-CBN remain suspended after the National Telecommunications Commission imposed a cease and discontinue order against the network, after its former concession expired on May 4.
NTC ‘s decision arrived in the face of Congress last February following earlier pronouncements that ABS-CBN will start working.
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