The silence of personalities who were previously vocal in opposing the failed joint venture deal between ABS-CBN and TV5 is quite noticeable, especially after ABS-CBN announced its entry into a joint venture agreement with Prime Media Holdings, a company owned by the current House Speaker, Martin Romualdez.
When ABS-CBN and TV5 announced their partnership deal in August 2022–it met opposition from lawmakers immediately. They are those involved previously in the non-renewal of ABS-CBN’s broadcast franchise.
At the top of the list of those who spoke out against the ABS-CBN TV5 deal was Sagip Partylist Congressman Rodante Marcoleta.
In his privilege speech on August 15, 2022, Marcoleta stated that TV5 would violate their franchise if the media company pursue the partnership with ABS-CBN.
“I think the merger left a bad taste in the mouth. There were flagrant violations not only of the rules and laws but also the Constitution,” Marcoleta said.
“With the substantial purchase of the outstanding stocks of ABS-CBN, I believe Section 10 of the franchise of TV5 was violated because the rights and obligations have virtually been transferred to ABS-CBN.
“Pupwede ba Mr. Speaker na ang isang network na di na natin binigyan ng lisensiya—because of these established violations, wala na siyang prangkisa—pwede ba siyang sumakay ng ganun ganun lang without settling the obligations to the country, to the government?”
Apart from Marcoleta, another staunch anti-ABS-CBN figure who expressed opposition to the ABS-CBN-TV5 deal was former broadcaster Jay Sonza.
In his social media post on August 11, 2022, he stated that it seemed like ABS-CBN and TV5 were “fooling” the government by entering into the joint venture deal.
“Puwede na palang paikutan ang Kongreso by going into ay simple arrangement/deal of 65%-35% by and between TV5 (Media Quest) at defunct ABS-CBN Broadcasting.
“Puwede ba iyong ganoon lang? Bigay ka lang ng almost P3B sa Singko at bigyan mo lang ng 35% sa kita iyong pinasukan mong network, okay kana? Hindi na kailangan pa ang Congressional franchise at talikuran na iyong lahat ng atraso mo sa gobyerno sa nakaraan?
“Walang kaproblema-problema sa NTC para sa frequency, dahil andiyan na siya? May direct to home TV na, may access pa sa giga play?
“Ganoon lang ba kasimple iyon, ha?
“Hindi ba parang ginagawa kayong gago na, tanga pa ng Panginoong Lopez at Pangilinan mga Sir at Madam ng Kongreso?”
Meanwhile, after ABS-CBN announced its purchase of a 49% stake in Prime Holdings, which is significantly higher than the 34% stake they were supposed to have in TV5, on May 23, there was still no response from Marcoleta, Sonza, or other politicians instrumental in blocking the franchise renewal of ABS-CBN and the supposed ABS-CBN-TV joint venture agreement.
According to a tweet by former party-list congressman Teddy Casino on May 24, anti-ABS-CBN politicians are pretty obvious. Now that the joint venture involves a company owned by the House Speaker, they seem to have become mute and blind to the situation.
After all, who would dare challenge the House Speaker, who has the power to allocate pork barrel funds?