Due to the National Telecommunications Commission issuing a cease and desist order to ABS-CBN, House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano was seemingly forced to pay attention to the network’s franchise renewal when he said that they had more urgent matters to work on.
Previously, Alan Peter Cayetano assured ABS-CBN that it can broadcast beyond May 4 as per his instruction, but the Kapamilya Network went off the air on May 5 after receiving the cease and desist order from NTC.
After a week of the shutdown, the House of Representatives approved on second reading a bill granting ABS-CBN a provisional franchise valid until October 31, 2020. ABS-CBN has already addressed the issues hurled against them but the congress under the leadership of Cayetano still chose a band-aid solution.
Deputy Speaker Luis Raymund Villafuerte, one of the authors of the bill, said they have set a deadline for themselves to finally make a decision on ABS-CBN’s fate by October.
This move by the Congress baffled the netizens:
Dont rejoice. Dont be happy. The franchise for ABS CBN is only provisional and only until Oct. 2020. Kids, this is the face of power and how its applied. You think democracy is restored? Be critical. Its another way to put the media in control.
— Kim O. Gerona (@chwistewkim) May 13, 2020
Some ABS peeps not knowing how to feel about the provisional franchise until Oct. Di pa rin kasi natatapos ang hanging question/psychological torture bugging us since 2019. But still, you have to take good news when they come.
— Arah Badayos (@arahjell) May 13, 2020
Provisional fanchise daw muna habang isip sila ng way paano nila d ma-approve ang franchise. Isip ng way pano ba nila mabebenta ang frequency ng ABS or ang ABS mismo sa mga friends ni dutae https://t.co/8uNaScrTYs
— whosie (@hrhpwdrblu) May 13, 2020
Ayan, provisional franchise for ABS CBN – thank you and praying it goes through the other departments well…
May bago na namang pag-uusapan… may mga makakalimutan na naman tayo… mass testing, ECQ violations of high-ranking officials…
— 𝐉𝐢𝐥𝐥𝐦𝐞𝐫 𝐃𝐲 (@JillmerDy) May 13, 2020
Tutal nag sign off na ABS CBN, bakit provisional franchise pa yung tinackle. Sayang oras. Jusq bobo talaga nito ni APC kahit kailan https://t.co/SDaGSILFeG
— Eym-yel 🐻 | #DefendPressFreedom (@amielitow_) May 13, 2020
Kung totoong may nilabag ang ABS CBN. Hindi nila deserve ang provisional franchise na binigay ng Congress at ni Cayetano. Nagpasalamat nga ang ABS… https://t.co/HjLNnfKDci
— hominem (@obscurusfama) May 13, 2020
Ang galing lang ng timing na kung kailan mainit pa ang balita tungkol sa pa-birthday party ni chief, biglang may provisional franchise na ang ABS at iniimbestigahan na raw ng NBI si Mocha Uson 🤔🤔🤔 pic.twitter.com/mL896sby4X
— Jam Braganza (@jamelaariella) May 13, 2020
Haba ng talumpati ni Cayetano kanina. Sobrang prepared. Alam na this. Dami sinabi eh ang announcement lang ay pag-grant ng provisional franchise ng ABS. Pabibo and pabida. Weeeh
— Joy L. Nanasca (@JoyNanasca) May 13, 2020
On Tuesday (May 12), Cayetano shared his response to a letter penned by 14 legislators who co-authored the bills that would have renewed the media network’s franchise, “While the deception of the NTC and the meddling of the Solicitor General adds exigency to the matter, there are still other concerns that need to be resolved.”
Furthermore, conducting a hearing session Cayetano clarified that it does not guarantee that the franchise of ABS-CBN will be automatically renewed.
He stated: “To those calling for an immediate hearing on this matter, including my colleagues in Congress, let me just be very clear – a hearing does not mean automatic renewal.”
As per Cayetano, even if they conduct a hearing to tackle about the giant network’s petition against NTC and its franchise renewal application, it will just open an opportunity for both sides (ABS-CBN and NTC) to raise their concerns.
He added: “The only thing it guarantees is that the network will be able to present its case, in the same manner as those who oppose it. The serious concerns that have been raised can no longer be swept under the rug, and it is absolutely necessary for Congress to give this matter all the time and attention it requires.”
Though he knew that through a series of proper hearings, it will absolutely put an end to all the uncertainties and doubts between ABS-CBN, National Telecommunications Commission, and Solicitor General Jose Calida.
Cayetano confirmed: “Without a series of ‘proper’ hearings we will never be able to put an end to the uncertainties and doubt. Did Congress bow to the pressures of the executive department, or to the interests of a powerful and influential media corporation, or did we do our jobs and fulfill our mandate to the Filipino people?”
“My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory.” James 2:1Putting…
Cayetano consistently blamed the National Telecommunications, SolGen Calida, Taal Volcano eruption and COVID-19 for the delay of ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal hearings which is totally the opposite of his actions and statements.
Last February, instead of attending a Senate hearing with Senator Grace Poe on the ABS-CBN franchise, Cayetano chose to re-launch a Kobe Bryant exhibit. In addition to that, he was overly confident that the operation of ABS-CBN will not be interrupted, as the House will discuss the franchise renewal not later than May.