Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano announced that he will not personally testify on the issue of ABS-CBN’s alleged “political bias,” especially regarding the broadcast of candidates’ advertisements in the 2016 national elections.
During an ambush interview, Cayetano said that he will rather send his stance on the matter to the House Legislative Franchise Committee and the Good Government and Public Accountability Committee in writing.
“I’ve thought deeply about testifying today, and siguro if I was not a member of Congress and I was not Speaker ay personal ko pong ilalatag sa Committee today ‘yung pananaw ko na nagkaroon ng bias nung 2016 election, in particular during the placement of ads, ‘yung sa coverage.”
Despite not testifying personally, the former running mate of President Rodrigo Duterte promised that there will be a fair hearing in the process,
“However, if I do not hear, I promised the whole Filipino nation that we will have not only transparent and open but fair hearings. So, I don’t want to sway members of Congress one way or the other.”
He also said that personally, media bias arises when a network is leaning towards a specific candidate during the election season. He said the hearing was not about the media’s criticism of politicians.
“Inuulit ko po ha: lahat po ng pulitiko, sasabihin biased ang media pagka binira niyo, hindi ‘yun ang pinag-uusapan ngayong araw na ‘to, at kung mapag-usapan ‘yun, e kailangan linawin that press freedom and freedom of speech ay isang haligi ng democracy.”
Cayetano’s competence has been questioned by his peers and the pubic because of his failed promises on prioritizing the ABS CBN franchise renewal.
Four days after the ABS-CBN went off the air, Cayetano blamed the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) and Solicitor General Jose Calida the misstep in ABS-CBN’s operations.
“Last Tuesday we were all ambushed by the NTC. Despite their assurance given under oath. Despite the legal opinion of the Department of Justice. Despite a resolution from the Senate and several verbal and written assurances given to Congress, the NTC appears to have succumbed to pressure from the Solicitor General, and issued a cease and desist order to ABS-CBN.”
But netizens were quick to remember Cayetano’s promise that ABS CBN will not go off the air,
"As early as my first month as Speaker of the House of Reprrsentatives I already put on record what the priorities of Congress would be, including when we would tackle the franchise renewal of ABS-CBN" – Alan Cayetano
KASALANAN TALAGA NI KOBE, bakit nadelay si Congress… 🤣💩 pic.twitter.com/L9XPF9LzT0
— GTFO (@JPdHotMESS) May 8, 2020
Months ago, Alan Peter Cayetano was asked re: #ABSCBNFranchise Renewal. He said:
"Kaya nga sinasabing 'ABias-CBN." Kung tayo mag-hearing ngayon, it'll suck all energy of the 18th Congress."
Today he posted on FB that RENEWAL was always PRIORITY.
WHAT A FREAKIN' LIAR!
— Francis Baraan IV (@MrFrankBaraan) May 8, 2020
Oh stfu Cayetano. If you took action on the renewal, this won’t happen. Instead of washing your hands, act on it. Pàra kang manok. You blab too much https://t.co/rjnCffo9TZ
— tina galsim (@heyteeenuh) May 8, 2020
Umpisahan mo na kasi ipakita mo na May bayag ka..Hindi puro satsat lang @ Allan Peter Cayetano..Lahat Meron paraan gumawa ka ng moves kahit May pandemya.. https://t.co/VKEAhQd4pc
— Simpleng_InhinyeroSibil (@calbeza35) May 8, 2020