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Switching sides? Pres. Spokesperson Harry Roque retracts ‘decision of the Filipino people’ claim on ABS-CBN Franchise rejection

Just last week, Roque defended the refusal to renew the ABS-CBN license, as he said it was the Filipino people’s decision.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque claimed that the rejection of the ABS-CBN franchise was the “decision of the Filipino people.”

But after he was presented with SWS survey results that suggested Filipinos believed that Congress should renew ABS-CBN Corp’s legislative franchise, the Presidential Spokesperson switched sides.

On Sunday, he merely took note of the results of the survey, which found that a significant majority of the Filipinos supported the ABS-CBN Corp. franchise, contrary to his earlier remarks that the refusal of the broadcaster’s franchise was the ‘People’s Decision.’

“The Palace notes the July 3-6 National Mobile Survey of the Social Weather Stations (SWS), which shows that a majority of adult Filipinos believe that Congress should renew the franchise of ABS-CBN Corporation,” he said.

And now Roque claims that it was Congress who rejected ABS CBN’s franchise renewal application, “That being said, we reiterate that the granting of the broadcasting franchise is the sole and exclusive prerogative of Congress.”

At the last hearing, Rep. Rodante Marcoleta (SAGIP Party-List) also stated that the statements made by the government agencies clearing ABS-CBN of any alleged violations did not matter since the will of the Congress should be granted.

“It is not the view of the Securities and Exchange Commission that matters here. It is not the opinion of the Department of Justice that will prevail here [or] the Bureau of Immigration or other agencies. It is the will of Congress that should be accorded due respect.”

Just last week, Roque defended the refusal to renew the ABS-CBN license, as he said it was the Filipino people’s decision.

“Well, alam ninyo po, ang taumbayan naman talaga po ang pinagmulan ng binding effect; ng legal effect ng ating Saligang Batas. Ang taumbayan ang nagdesisyon po na hindi pupuwedeng magnegosyo sa isang broadcast industry na walang prangkisa na inaprubahan ng representante ng taumbayan.”

This caught different reactions from netizens even celebrities who didn’t hesitate to oppose on Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque’s claim.



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