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Mga sipsip! Senators acting like lackeys of ABS-CBN management – Cayetano

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By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN

House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano cannot hide his frustration with some members of the Senate allegedly acting like lackeys of embattled broadcast giant ABS-CBN.

Cayetano made the remarks as the Senate committee on public services chaired by Sen. Grace Poe proceed with its hearing over the pending franchise renewal of the Lopez-owned media conglomerate despite the constitutional provision that all local and private legislations which include the grant of congressional franchise should originate in the House of Representatives.

“Ang problema, maraming gustong umepal, maraming gustong maging part ng solution, maraming nagpo-propose, panay ‘What if? What if?’,” he said.

“Parang nag a-attendance lahat ng gustong sumipsip sa ABS-CBN eh,” he added.

When asked by House reporters if on whom he address his statement, Cayetano didn’t hesitate to call out Senators who supported the conduct of Poe’s hearing even it is clear in the 1987 Constitution that any bill on legislative franchise should originate in the Lower House.

“Bakit naghi-hearing ang Senate? Anong purpose? Parang nag a-attendance sila sa ABS eh? ‘Hello! I’m here, I’m for you’,” said Cayetano.

“Di ba? Kasi sabi nila, it’s not for the franchise, hindi naman sila pwede mag-hearing sa franchise at nandito pa (sa Kamara). So what’s it for?,” he added.

Cayetano on Thursday said he is wondering why Poe and other senators are so anxious to tackle the franchise renewal of the Kapamilya network considering the clear provision in the 1987 charter that any legislation on appropriation or franchise should originate in the House.

Section 24 of the 1987 charter states that: “All appropriation, revenue or tariff bills, bills authorizing increase of the public debt, bills of local application, and private bills shall originate exclusively in the House of Representatives, but the Senate may propose or concur with amendments.”

A legislative franchise lands on the category of a private bill.

Cayetano maintained that ABS-CBN franchise renewal remains “important but not urgent” but gave and assurance that the Lopez firms will be allowed with their continuous operations while their franchise renewal application remains pending before the legislative franchise panel.

“The reality is kung gustong isara, isang hearing lang eh di isara or huwag i-hear at sabihin sa NTC na isara ito,” he added.

After six years of being delayed, the House committee on legislative franchise on Monday formally opened the proceedings in connection with the franchise renewal of the Kapamilya network.

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