The vote of Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) party-list Rep. Raymund Mendoza against the renewal of the franchise of ABS-CBN Corporation last Friday surprised labor groups.
Nagkaisa Labor Coalition Chairman Sonny Matula said their members, as well as other trade unions and workers’ groups were all in shock upon learning that one of their convenors, did not toe the line and set aside the jobs of 11,000 workers and the means of survival of their families by voting to deny ABS-CBN a franchise.
“Many could not hide their disappointment and disgust in public. We have to speak as a coalition,” he said in a statement on Sunday, July 12.
Nagkaisa asked Rep. Mendoza to explain to the coalition the reason behind his vote.
According to the group, the lawmaker already communicated to Matula that he will explain to the coalition his vote, in due time.
The Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) was also surprised with Mendoza’s vote.
“We are really surprised, to say the least, about TUCP not supporting even the interest of the 11,000 workers, who would lose their jobs at the ABS-CBN,” KMU Chairman Elmer Labog said in a separate interview.
He expressed hope that TUCP will reconsider its position saying the battle to assert that ABS-CBN be allowed to operate is not yet finished.
“More so, it’s still a long war to fight for press freedom and freedom of expression,” said Labog.
On July 10, the House Committee on Legislative Franchises adopted the recommendation of its technical working group to reject the bills seeking to grant a fresh franchise to ABS CBN in a vote of 70-11.