Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman deplored Speaker Alan Cayetano’s “failure of leadership” after abandoning the provisional franchise of ABS-CBN Corp. which he spearheaded on the Batasan floor with much braggadocio just a week ago.
Cayetano announced Tuesday, May 19, that he would scrap House Bill 6732, which proposed to allow ABS-CBN to broadcast until October 31 this year, after his majority allies voted in a caucus to go the normal route and tckle the 25-year franchise application at the franchise committee level.
“I bewail the abandonment of House Bill 6732. This abandonment underscores the failure of leadership in the House after no less than Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano principally authored and passionately sponsored the ill-fated interim franchise whose approval was recommended by the ‘Committee of the Whole’, which is rarely constituted,” said Lagman in a statement.
“HB 6732 which started like a bullet train at full speed towards the terminal of approval, has been derailed because of lack of steadfast commitment and independent stewardship in running the legislative train.,” he added.
Lagman said Cayetano wasted week of legislative work could have been devoted to equally important measures.
Lagman said he saw “no overriding reason to abandon HB No. 6732 except for a furtive and sinister outside interference in the discharge of the constitutional duty of the House.”
With n the provisional franchise scuttled, Lagman said ABS-CBN would remain off the air for an indefinite period and “without any timetable for the committee on legislative franchises to start and conduct the ‘immediate’ hearings on the pending bills for the franchise renewal.”
“This abandonment gravely compounds the inordinate delay in the consideration of ABS-CBN’s franchise while even as of now, the management of ABS-CBN has not been notified nor summoned to answer or traverse the purported violations of the network’s franchise,” he said.