Speaker Alan Cayetano grudgingly sponsored a bill granting a provisional franchise to ABS-CBN Corp.to operate until October this year but not after bitching about its journalists.
“Some may say they are in the Service of the Filipino pero sa gitna ng sakuna, gusto nyo kayo ang unahin namin kaysa sa mga kababayan natin. Eh kayo nga isang dahilan kung bakit may mga issues ang network ninyo. Ang klarong bias at pakikialam sa eleksyon ang ginawa ninyo at ginamit ninyo ang network na ito, 2004, 2010, 2016 at 2019. Tapos tatakpan niyo ‘yan, ‘it is press freedom’,” said Cayetano in bile-filled speech.
Cayetano stressed that he does not mind media blaming him for getting ABS-CBN yanked off the air for not acting on the TV giant’s franchise which has been pending in Congress since 2014.
“But when you blindly call for the approval of the franchise without having heard all sides of the story, then you show yourselves not as advocates of a fair and balanced presentation of the facts as journalists are sworn to be, but as plain and simple propagandists.
And I cannot respect that. Do not weaponize this issue for your own personal agenda. That is a disservice to the very public in whose name you claim to stand for,” he said.
“Hindi po natin nilalahat ang mga journalists, ngunit tulad din ng pagpapakita ninyo na ang lahat ng mga politiko ay corrupt, lahat ng mga pulis ay abusado – damay ang buong institution sa maling gawain ng iba,” he added.
Cayetano gave media an unsolocited advice: “Do your job. Do not fear. Call out injustice and corruption when you see it. Protect the weak from the powerful and give voice to the voiceless. This is your mandate. Speak the truth freely and fearlessly to power. but beware that you do not become the power that you hope to check.”