Amid the saddening news of ABS-CBN’s denied franchise renewal, one of the names associated with its failed bid is House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, who has made numerous statements that change from time to time.
It can be recalled that Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano assured that there’s no reason for the network to shut down even without a franchise renewal.
Cayetano says the network is essential to the country and its people but wants it to take responsibility for certain issues.
“I want ABS-CBN to be accountable for some issues regarding their franchise. I cannot imagine a Philippines without ABS-CBN. There is absolutely no reason na isara ang ABS,” Cayetano told DZMM.
Cayetano even argued that the lower chamber would stand by its earlier declaration that ABS-CBN could continue to operate if its franchise expires before the lawmaker decides to renew its bid.
“We’ve said from the start that the reason why we think it is important but not urgent, dahil di naman tayo papayag na there will be a single minute na hindi magbo-broaccast ang ABS-CBN,” he said.
“Ang problema, maraming gustong umepal. Maraming gustong maging part ng solution, so yung sinabi naming hindi magsasara yan ang paninidigan namin, kung kailangang physically ako mag-on ng transmitter o pumunta doon,” Cayetano said, adding that House committee on legislative franchises chair and Palawan Rep. Franz Alvarez would do the same.
But then after how many hearings conducted, Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano claimed that he didn’t personally testify to the issue of the alleged “political bias” of the ABS-CBN, particularly regarding the broadcast of candidates’ announcements in the 2016 national elections.
According to him, 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.”
And on July 10, when the Congress denied ABS CBN its franchise, the former running mate of President Rodrigo Duterte finally revealed his true stand on ABS-CBN.
He penned a letter on his Facebook page where he even addressed the owners of the ABS-CBN as ‘Oligarchs’.
“As to the Oligarchs, like the owners of ABS-CBN, whose historical institutional DNA is programmed to protect and grow their fortunes by controlling and abusing the system, they also deprive the country of billions in much needed funds by skirting and bending the law. Many times in connivance with the political elite.”
“There is a time and a season for every activity under the heavens,” ~ Ecclesiastes 3Change is in everyone's…
He also called on those who see ABS-CBN’s rejected franchise bid as a threat to freedom of the press and made it clear that the House of Representatives supports the right of members of the media and every Filipino to criticize the government;
“For those who continue to push the freedom of the press card, Congress is not stifling the right of any journalist, host, commentator, talent, or employee of ABS-CBN—or any Filipino for that matter—from criticizing the government. We simply put an end to the privilege of one family in using a public resource to protect and promote their private interests,” said Cayetano.
Cayetano’s position slowly notes that the said unsuccessful franchise renewal is not an infringement on freedom of the press, but rather ‘a part of the desecration of the weeds’ of the oligarchs,
“Ultimately, people will come to understand that this was never an issue about press freedom. That despite the best efforts of the owners’ to use it as a shield for their abusive corporate practices, Filipinos will see that this is – first and foremost – simply part of this season’s uprooting of the weeds and a reclaiming our patrimony from the oligarchs.”