Senators react on Lower House decision on ABS-CBN franchise
Senators cannot help but express their sympathies to the workers of the giant network ABS-CBN after the Lower House finally decided on its fate.
Some of them viewed the matter as an eye-opener of what the government can do under the law.
Senator Franklin Drilon claimed that what happened is “reminiscent of the dark pages in the history of Philippine press in 1972” and the network might have to wait for 2022 when “new Congress is elected.”
“The 11,000 workers losing jobs next month have families to feed, rent and mortgages to pay and children to send to schools. They will suffer the consequences of the decision of the House of Representatives. This could have been avoided had the Congress granted the franchise renewal of the broadcasting network,” he pointed out.
Senator Angara was disappointment over the decision as the BIR, SEC, and other government agencies already clarified the network did not have any violations. He also warned of a possible economic setback.
Senator Grace Poe expressed belief that the Lower Chamber has a steep set of standards in approving franchises for compliance. She cited the network’s positive contribution for the people and added that it might affect other active franchises.
For Senator Risa Hontiveros, the “non-renewal has set a dangerous precedent.”
“Because the government allowed politicking in the process of renewing a legislative franchise and succeeded in shutting down a media institution, we have begun to ring the death knell of press freedom in the country.”
Senators Bong Go and Imee Marcos expressed sympathy for the workers who will lose jobs due to the decision of the Lower House.
– Report from Eunice Samonte / ptvnews.ph