Duterte hand in ABS-CBN franchise issue denied

Rodrigo Roa Duterte
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte. Presidential Photos.

HOUSE Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano cleared President Rodrigo Duterte of involvement in the issue of ABS-CBN Corp.'s franchise.

In an interview, Cayetano denied allegations made by Makabayan lawmakers that President Duterte is dipping his hand in the franchise application of the television network.

Cayetano said it is very clear from the start that President Duterte does not meddle in the work of the House of Representatives despite the chamber being made up mostly of administration allies.

“I can tell you and look you in the eyes naangsinabisa akin niPresidente is just be fair. Bahala kayo diyan. The President has never told me to grant or not to grant the franchise,” Cayetano said.

Starting May 27, the House Committee on Legislative Franchise will begin deliberating on the pending 12 bills that seek to grant ABS-CBN Corp a 25-year franchise. Its franchise expired on May 4 the reason and the National Telecommunications Commission issued a cease and desist order to the network to stop its operations.

Also just this week, the House of Representatives recalled House Bill 6732 granting ABS-CBN provisional authority to operate until October this year.

The militant solons accused the House leadership and President Duterte of connivance in denying ABS-CBN the franchise.

But Cayetano slammed the group over the accusation.

He said his leadership should not be blamed for this issue since the franchise was not even approved during the 16th and 17th Congress or the time of former President Benigno Aquino.

“In the same manner na kami nagtatakabakitlumalabasna 18th Congress ang may problemasamantalangsa 16th Congress, 2 years ito, 2014 to 2016, hindigumalaw. Sa 17th Congress, 3 years hindigumalaw. During my time, wala pang 10 months, talaganamangnakapilaperoinabottayonito,” Cayetano stressed.

“Kung titingnanmoang attitude ng Presidente, sa confirmation, samga secretary, kung anongteritoryo ng Kongreso, saKongresoyan. Anongteritoryonung Executive, sa Executive,” he added.