Posted on

By Prince Golez

Media giant ABS-CBN is not the only watchdog in the country, according to Malacañang.

Presidential Chief Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo made the comment, after journalists covering Malacañang called the House of Representatives’ refusal to grant ABS-CBN’s bid for a new franchise an assault on media freedom and a step towards tyranny.

“Let us assume that ABS-CBN is a watchdog. Pero alam niyo po ba, MPC, na marami tayong watchdogs? Nandiyan yung Ombudsman, nandiyan yung budget, nandiyan yung Commission on Human rights, nandiyan yung hukuman,” Panelo said in his “Counterpoint” program aired on state-run PTV-4 Friday.

“Marami tayong watchdogs kung pag-uusapan yung mga nagbabantay dun sa lalabag sa Saligang Batas, yung lalabag sa karapatang pantao,” he added.

Panelo stressed that the grant of a legislative franchise is a privilege, granted by Congress to broadcast entities, not a right.

“Yung hindi pagbibigay ng prangkisa, hindi yan babala sa press upang huminto kayo sa inyong exercise ng isang constitutionally-guaranteed freedom of the press, kung hindi ito ay isang babala, kung matatawag mang babala, na itong prangkisang ito ay isang prebihiliyo at hindi isang right,” according to him.

“[Hindi niyo] pwedeng sabihin na since binigyan kayo, amin na ito forever. Hindi pupuwede because you don’t have a vested right to the privilege granted to you. So, kung lumubag sa Saligang Batas ang mga may hawak ng prangkisa at kung ano pa mang batas na nilabag nito, yung pribilehiyong yun ay tatanggalin sa inyo,” he concluded.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *