By Mario Casayuran
Opposition Senator Francis N. Pangilinan said Tuesday he supports a joint resolution proposed by Senate Minority Leader Franklin M. Drilon as an expression of the Senate for the continued operation of broadcast network ABS-CBN after the termination of its franchise that ends May 4.
He, however, expressed his fears that the House of Representatives might reject it.
House leaders were against the public hearing held last Monday by the Senate public service committee, saying it violated their “inter-parliamentary courtesy” as franchises and money bills must originate from the Lower House.
“But still, mahalaga ‘yan dahil maipapakita natin, at tulad ng nangyari kahapon, oportunidad para mailabas at mapag-usapan ‘yung mga isyu,” he said.
(It is important that we were able to show it, and like what happened in the committee hearing last Monday, it was an opportunity to take out and discuss the issues.)
He cited the position of pro-administration Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph G. Recto that ABS-CBN did not violate National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) rules.
Nor did it violate tax laws nor Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rules.
“O, bakit isasara? Bakit may ‘death penalty’? Sabi nga, ano’ng kasalanan nila kung wala namang nagsasabing meron silang kakulangan? Ang mga ahensya na ng gobyerno na ang nagsasabi n’un,” he pointed out.
(So, why shut it down? Why is there a ‘death penalty’? As the saying goes, what is their sin if no one says they have any shortcomings? Government agencies themselves are saying that.)
Pangilinan said the opposition’s senatorial “Otso Derecho” group had their political ads bumped off by the network in the last seven days of the 2019 campaign, deemed as a critical period.
“We too were hurt. Had the ads been aired, the result of the campaign might have helped us,” he said.
“Pero ang sabi ko nga, kahit na may hinanakit kami, hindi naman dapat mauwi sa may mawawalan ng trabaho ang 11,000 na empleyado,” he pointed out.
(But as I’ve said, though we have resentments, this should not lead to the 11,000 ABS-CBN employees losing their jobs.)