Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman said Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano had really no intention of allowing ABS-CBN Corp. to renew its franchise despite his public assurances. “Talagang drinible lang talaga nitong mga bills for renewal sa simula pa lang. Ayaw ng House leadership na lumaban sa sinasabi ng Pangulo na siya ay tutol sa renewal,” said Lagman in an interview with ABS-CBN.
Cayetano had previously assured ABS-CBN that it was in no danger of being closed down while Congress was still deliberating on its franchise renewal because it would be given a provisional authority to operate.
On May 5, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) issued a cease and desist order against ABS-CBN a day after its franchise expired.
Lagman was among the few lawmakers who warned ABS-CBN that it would only be allowed to operate if its franchise was granted by Congress.
Lagman said Cayetano could still prove his sincerity if Congress fast-tracked the deliberation and approval of the 11 bills seeking to etend ABS-CBN’s franchise.
“Tinaggap na ang apology ng ABS-CBN, palagay ko yan ay go signal na pag-renew ng franchise. Eto ay karapatan ng ABS-CBN, wala naman sapat na oposisyon, walang formal or credible opposition ng franchise ng ABS-CBN,” said Lagman.
“Buti nasa session tayo. Nanawagan ako sa House Speaker, aksyunan mo ang renewal ng ABS-CBN habang hindi pa tumatagal ang problemang ito,” he said.