House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano wants the public to read thoroughly the findings made by the House Committee on Legislative Franchise on ABS-CBN’s bid for a fresh franchise that was rejected by the House panel.
In a statement issued following the 70-11 voting on the findings made by the three-man Technical Working Group, Cayetano said it is important for the public to fully understand why the vote went that way.
“The House leadership asks that the people read the findings carefully in order to appreciate the reasons for their decision. And for those who do not agree, at the least, understand why the decision had to be so,” Cayetano said.
Although qualified to vote as ex-officio committee member, the House leader did not participate in the voting that took place on the 13th meeting of the legislative franchise panel chaired by Palawan Rep. Franz Alvarez.
Cayetano recalled that prior to the start of the congressional hearings that was jointly conducted with the Committee on Good Government, the Lower Chamber “committed and delivered a time for Congress to conduct fair, impartial, thorough, and comprehensive hearings on the application for franchise renewal of the ABS-CBN Corporation.
“Because of the highly partisan nature of this issue, we accepted from the start that there would be those who will vehemently disagree with the committee’s decision, no matter what they resolve,” he said.
Cayetano had admitted that he used to harbor a grudge against the network who he had previously accused of engaging in partisan politics, especially during the 2016 president elections.
Despite this, the House official assured the public that ABS-CBN will be treated with fairness and will be given a chance to respond to complaints against the network.
Cayetano likewise stressed that the process was by no means easy for anyone involved in the proceedings, but assured the public that the final resolution was not arrived at by the Committee on Legislative Franchises without serious consideration of the overall impact it will have on the nation.
Cayetano acknowledged the fact that the public has differences in opinions about the issue. However, he remained confident that “everyone will eventually come to respect the decision of the committee.