House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano seems to be furious over the signature drive launched by Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman in the Lower House for his filed resolution that seeks to expedite the hearings in connection with the franchise renewal of embattled broadcast giant ABS-CBN.
In an ambush interview in Iba, Zambales, Cayetano admitted that the issue about the discharge petition filed by Lagman in connection with the franchise renewal of ABS-CBN through House Resolution no. 639 means a discreet challenge to the to the Speakership of the Taguig-Pateros solon.
“I think yung balita na withdrawal, sa iba once kasi that Cong. lagman and the others started talking about discharge pag nag-discharge ka kasi youre challenging the leadership already eh,” said Cayetano.
“I said kung yung discharge kasi, paano kung lahat ng may nilalakad sa Congress, sabihin huwag natin sundin yung committee then it will be an affront talaga to the present leadership,” he added.
HR 639 urges the Committee on legislative franchises chaired by Palawan Rep. Franz “Chicoy” Alvarez to report out without further delay a consolidated bill on the franchise renewal of the Lopez-owned medi conglomerate amid the impending expiration of its current legislative franchise by the end of next month.
Party-list Rep. Jericho Nograles (PBA) last Friday said “more or less” 91 congressmen” have already signed in the Lagman-sponsored resolution.
A congressional insider told Politiko/Abante that Cayetano and his allies anxious over the signature drive of Lagman since it may be used or utilized by discontented lawmakers to fuel another power struggle in the House of Representatives.
Lagman needs at least 155 signatures to force Alvarez’s panel to finally act on pending legislations that seek to grant the Kapamilya network a fresh 25-year franchise.
Lagman on Tuesday accused Cayetano and his confidante solons of putting pressure on congressmen who recently signed in support of HR 639.
But Cayetano was quick to deny the allegations made by the veteran Albay solon, adding that “from the start of this Congress, I told everyone that we will operate in accordance with conscience.”
“Kung brinaso ko yan, baka mas maraming hindi pipirma. In same manner, sa amin kahit naman sa inyo sa ABS-CBN eh pag brasuhin niyo ung mga artista magsalita, hindi lahat magsasalita pero pag sinabi niyo lang bahala kayo, eh di merong magsasalita, merong tahimik lang,” said Cayetano.