Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Ferdinand Gaite on Wednesday expressed offense toward the Department of Labor and Employment’s recent announcement to aid displaced ABS-CBN employees.
The Makabayan congressman said the offer “is a mockery to 11,000 workers who just lost their livelihood in the middle of a pandemic.”
“Hindi natin kailangan ng consuelo de bobo sa panahong ito ng pandemya at malawak na kagutuman, ang kailangan ng manggagawa ay ibalik sa kanila ang kanilang trabaho, ibalik ang ABS-CBN!” Gaite said,
The House committee on legislative franchises on July 10 voted 70-11 to deny the broadcast giant’s bid for a 25-year franchise renewal.
“The decision to deny ABS-CBN its rightful franchise was based not on facts but on flimsy allegations and personal grudges against the network. Established jurisprudence and testimonies of administrative agencies and regulatory bodies were basically ignored by the body,” said Gaite.
“The committee knew fully well that denying ABS-CBN’s franchise would lead to thousands of workers unemployed which will further monkey wrench our already dwindling economy. But they did it anyway without a shred of truth – all just to please President Duterte in his wish to bring down the Kapamilya network,” Gaite added.
“Malinaw na bahagi ito ng paghuhugas-kamay ng ehekutibo sa naging papel nila sa pagpapasara sa ABS-CBN. Hindi itinago ni Duterte ang kagustuhan niya na isara ang naturang TV network, at binigay ng Kongreso ang kagustuhan niyang ito,” he said.
“Now, the labor department is reinforcing the Palace’s narrative that they have done nothing to force ABS-CBN’s franchise denial. They are trying to appease the 11,000 workers whom they robbed of jobs, and the viewing public who are dismayed and angered by what happened,” he said.
“But the public will not be fooled. We know that Duterte is behind the network’s closure. Duterte and his allies ignored the 11,000 workers’ pleas for their jobs,” Gaite said.
“They did not care for these workers then, they cannot feign compassion now and make us believe that they suddenly care for the welfare of ABS-CBN workers,” he said.