House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano said he’ll vacate his post if the majority of the House is no longer in favor of him.
This was after Buhay Party-list Representative Lito Atienza called out for Cayetano who is allegedly sitting on the debated franchise renewal case of ABS-CBN Network.
On Monday, February 24, Atienza called out for Cayetano to step down from his position if he cannot do his job well.
“I don’t know what Speaker Cayetano is waiting for, the President has already admonished him,” Atienza said.
“If he doesn’t follow the President, then the thing will speak for itself. Maybe we should have a new Speaker,” he added.
Addressing calls for him to resign, Cayetano told the reporters on Monday, February 24, “Ang panawagan sa pag-resign ay ginagawa sa floor… The moment na ayaw na ako ng majority ng mga kongresista, aalis ako.
“Ayoko na pag na-pressure ng media, maghi-hearing na kaagad. Kung kayang tanggapin ‘to ng majority ng kongresista, thank you. Kung hindi, then it’s time to choose a new leader, bahala na kayo,” the Speaker added.
Netizens weren’t happy with Cayetano’s activities
The other, lower half of Congress has enough time and resources to hold an exhibit for a basketball player but not for a media franchise. #Uselessthings
— Theodore Te (@TedTe) February 24, 2020
— TheEmperor (@Eric_Cabahug) February 20, 2020
Alan Cayetano should resign from his position https://t.co/mt8mzAC1RD
— Sophia (@applepeachpie13) February 24, 2020
Maraming time para gumawa ng Kobe Bryant exhibit pero walang time para mag hearing tungkol sa franchise ng ABS-CBN. This is your Congress under the leadership of Alan Peter Cayetano.
— Harvey Keh (@HarveyKeh) February 24, 2020
— The Eye (@DaOtherEye) February 24, 2020
What d fck is that for?!!!! Waste of time!!!! Cayetano shld resign and put up his museum!
— MadamAzon (@azon64) February 24, 2020
In October 2019, the House Leader stated the House will schedule an inquiry on the franchise renewal of ABS-CBN before 2019 ended. However, no hearing was conducted.
In December 2019, Cayetano said there was still enough time to discuss the franchise renewal case of ABS-CBN in the first two months of 2020 since it will expire on March 30.
According to Cayetano, lawmakers will want to voice out their position on the renewal of franchise case of ABS-CBN. However, holding hearings at the moment will not only exhaust the 18th Congress, as it would likely fuel backlash between supporters and critics of the network, and “it will set aside what’s important.”
“Kung gusto kong mag-grandstand, papatawag ako ng hearing agad… Pero is it the right timing? Tayo ba lahat nasa right frame ng mind ngayon o may mainit ang ulo pa?” Cayetano said.
“Kailangan natin ng lamig ng ulo… Kung tayo ay mag-hearing ngayon, it will suck all the energy of the 18th Congress. Mapapabayaan ang ibang mga importante. There has to be some way that we can soberly discuss this. Magpaliwanagan tayo,” he added.
On Friday, February 14, the House Speaker said Congress would possibly tackle the 11 pending bills of the giant network around May until the end of July after the 5th State Of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Rodrigo Duterte.
However, he assured that the network won’t be shut down or go off-air even if its 25-year franchise expires for there appears to be a consensus among lawmakers to allow the network to stay on air as long as there are bills seeking its franchise renewal filed or being discussed.
“There’s a consensus that while we’re discussing the issue, walang reason na isara (ang ABS-CBN),” he said.
If Cayetano’s statement that the Congress is too busy to tackle important matters, the House was somehow able to launch an exhibit for late Lakers legend Kobe Bryant despite their busy schedules. This had people questioning what Congress’ priorities were since they could not schedule a hearing for ABS-CBN’s franchise bills that have been stalled for years.
While the lower chamber has not yet released an exact date on when to start the hearing on the pending franchise bills, the House Committee on the Legislative Franchises has already started the proceedings by requesting the lawmakers as well as concerned stakeholders to submit their position papers, which contains both pro and anti stands on ABS-CBN’s case.