‘Either you approve or deny’: Bong Go prods House to act on ABS-CBN bills

Published February 26, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Vanne Elaine Terrazola

Senator Christopher Go on Wednesday told the House of Representatives to do its job and finally act on the pending franchise renewal of ABS-CBN, instead of criticizing the Senate for discussing it ahead of them.

Senator Christopher "Bong" Go (PRIB Photo by Cesar Tomambo /29 July 2019)
Senator Christopher “Bong” Go
(PRIB Photo by Cesar Tomambo /29 July 2019)

Go was asked to comment on the statements made by House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano against the senators who attended the Senate committee on public services’ inquiry into the allegations preventing the renewal of the television network’s 25-year franchise.

The administration ally sided with his colleagues, saying the Senate hearing on Monday helped clarify issues about ABS-CBN, including the “root cause” of it.

“On my part, marami po akong isiniwalat at naipaintindi, naintindihan na ng Filipino kung ano ang puno’t dulo ng lahat, isa sa naging rason (On my part, I exposed and made people understand, Filipinos now understand what was the root cause of it all, one of the reasons for it),” Go, who raised President Duterte’s gripe against the network during the Senate inquiry, said.

Like his fellow senators, Go opted not to make a fuss about Cayetano’s “sipsip” (sucking up) and “epal” (showing off) remarks about them, even as he said in jest that “I am not one of them.”

“Masyado na pong umiinit ang isyu dito sa ABS-CBN, so let’s buckle down to work, gawin na lang po natin ang trabaho, unahin na lang natin interes ng bawat Filipino, interes ng bawat manggagawa ng network. Umpisahan niyo na lang ang inyong trabaho. It’s either you approve or deny,” he said.

(This issue with ABS-CBN has been heating up, so let’s buckle down to work, let’s just do our jobs, let’s prioritize the interest of Filipinos, the interest of the workers of the network. Just start doing your job. It’s either you approve or deny.)

Go appealed to House leaders to refrain from commenting further on the Senate’s moves, especially resorting to name-calling.

House leaders recently announced that the chamber’s committee on legislative franchises will start discussing ABS-CBN’s application for a franchise extension.

The bills on the network’s franchise renewal have been pending in the Lower Chamber since the 17th Congress, with President Duterte vowing to block it over the corporation’s failure to air his campaign advertisements during the 2016 elections.

On Monday, ABS-CBN President and CEO Carlo Katigbak apologized to the President for the network’s shortcomings. Two days later, the President extended his forgiveness.

In an interview in Malacañang, Duterte said he accepts the apology of ABS-CBN’s top honcho because he is “only human.”

“Tao lang rin ako (I’m only human too) so… I accept the apology, of course,” the President said Wednesday evening. (With Argyll Geducos)