Marcoleta has message for Hontiveros after CA hearing clash

Listen to people with "sensible legal advice".

SAGIP Party-list Rep. Rodante Marcoleta (left) and Senator Risa Hontiveros (Facebook)

This was SAGIP Party-list Rep. Rodante Marcoleta's advice to Senator Risa Hontiveros following their tit-for-tat during the Nov. 23 Commission on Appointments (CA) hearing wherein the panel deliberated on Commission on Audit (COA) Chairman Gamaliel Cordoba's confirmation.

In an interview over state-run Radyo Pilipinas over the weekend, Marcoleta recalled how tempers flared between him and Hontiveros as the lady solon "belabored" on the topic of shuttered television and radio network ABS-CBN in what should've been a discussion on Cordoba's credentials as COA chief.

Cordoba is a former commissioner of the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), which ultimately ordered the closure of ABS-CBN in 2020 after its franchise expired. Consequently, the House of Representatives, which Marcoleta was also a member of at that time, junked applications to grant the media giant a new franchise.

Marcoleta said he particularly didn't like it when Hontiveros claimed that there's "continuing injustice" in the ABS-CBN case.

"Parang na insulto naman ako. Dalawang taon na nakararaan, nagpasya na ang mababang kapulungan, 'Huwag siyang bigyan na ng prangkisa sapagkat na-establish naman na ang napakaraming mga paglabag' (I kind of felt insulted. It's been two years and the lower chamber has spoken, 'The franchise will not be approved because a lot of violations were established)," the outspoken lawyer-solon said.

"Pagkatapos, kumambiyo naman siya, 'Eh yan po ang aking hamak na opinyon, hindi naman po ako abugado. Eh kung aaminin mo na hindi ka abugado, makinig ka naman dun sa mga sensible naman na legal advice (She shifted gears afterwards and said, 'That's just my mere opinion, I'm not a lawyer. If you'll admit that you're not a lawyer, then listen to those who have sensible legal advice)," Marcoleta said.

He further noted in the interview the time constraints that the CA now has to deal with stemming from the unproductive hearings.


It can be recalled that the SAGIP congressman was among the most vocal oppositors to ABS-CBN's franchise renewal during the high-profile public hearings in the House of Representatives over two years ago.

Marcoleta also disagreed with Hontiveros's take that ABS-CBN's closure has hurt free speech.

"Kung ikakapit mo yung free speech, parang gusto niyang sabihin, 'Hindi na bale yung mga violations na yan basta magiging pasilidad siya ng free speech' (If you're including the issue of free speech, it's like she's saying, 'Never mind those violations, for as long as it becomes a facility for free speech)," he said.