- House Speaker Cayetano complained about ABS-CBN’s alleged unfair election coverage.
Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto said allegations and complaints about ABS-CBN cannot be considered as fatally defective of its franchise.
In an interview with the reporters, Recto who is the author of the Senate version of the ABS-CBN franchise renewal bill said he has already seen the complaints including its critical coverage of politicians but he said that it doesn’t constitute to the non-renewal of the franchise.
“I’m in favor of extending the franchise of [ABS-CBN],” he said.
“And I think none of these complaints are fatally defective that it would warrant not to extend the franchise. Insofar as the complaints filed, right? ‘Yung (The) quo warranto (petition),” he added.
Meanwhile, asked about Alan Peter Cayetano’s latest pronouncements that ABS-CBN was unfair with their election coverage during the time he was running for vice president and lost, Recto said almost every politician has somehow gotten hit by media coverage. He, however, maintained that that is the job of media networks, to be the fourth estate.
“I don’t know about siding with politicians. I’ll put it this way. Here in the Senate, I think all of us natamaan na rin ng (got hit by) ABS-CBN, wala naman dito palagay ko hindi natamaan din (nobody here I think was spared), but I don’t think that’s fatally defective on their franchise, or for any other media network. Trabaho ninyo ‘yan eh (That’s your job). You’re the fourth estate,” the senator pointed out.
Although Recto sees no huge problem with the Kapamilya network’s franchise, the franchise renewal bills should be heard first at the House of Representatives before the Senate can act on them.
However, Congress has still to start deliberations citing new excuses to stall the procedure.
House Speaker Cayetano has brought out his complaint about the Kapamilya network’s alleged unfair election coverage in addressing the franchise issue.
The House Speaker alleged that ABS-CBN has favored some candidates giving an unfair advantage to others.
“Can anyone honestly say, after watching the coverage of the network during the 2010 and 2016 elections, that ABS-CBN did not take sides and favor any candidate? Or that personalities and politicians, who through the years have had strong affinity with the station, do not receive undue advantage during campaign season?” said Cayetano.
According to Cayetano, this is the reason they cannot schedule the hearing on the 11 pending bills seeking to extend ABS-CBN’s franchise since it will exhaust Congress.
Singer-actress and known Duterte critic Agot Isidro, however, has a theory why Cayetano is stalling the deliberations.
For Agot, stalling ABS-CBN’s franchise would mean Cayetano’s hold of the media giant which he can use in the upcoming 2022 election.
“Kasi kailangan ko pa ang ABS-CBN sa eleksyon sa 2022. In the meantime, hawak ko sila sa leeg. #readingbetweenthelines”
Kasi kailangan ko pa ang ABS-CBN sa eleksyon sa 2022…
— Agot Isidro (@agot_isidro) February 15, 2020