By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN
House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano admitted that he has a personal grudge over broadcast giant ABS-CBN for supposedly meddling in the political arena during the height of the 2016 presidential polls.
“I feel that there’s certain instances in history and in the 2016 election na naki-alam unjustly some sectors or some leaders of ABS, so how do you sort it out?” said Cayetano in an interview with the ABS-CBN News Channel.
“People like me, ako may angal din ako. I’ll tell you this is my personal ha? On one hand I feel that we have to protect the freedom of press and freedom of expression,” he added.
Cayetano stressed the reason he got irked with with the Kapamilya Network is different with the issue raised by President Rodrigo Duterte—wherein the broadcast giant failed to air the former Davao City’s political ad during the final stretch of the campaign period despite paying close to P20 million.
Duterte was also peeved when ABS-CBN instead aired a smear campaign commercial against him which was paid by former Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV.
The House leader’s remarks came with only less than five months left before ABS-CBN’s congressional franchise under Republic Act No. 7966 finally lapses.
Duterte on many occasions has threatened ABS-CBN that he will veto its franchise renewal if ever it will hurdle congressional approval.
Cayetano last week admitted that the congressional franchise renewal application of the Kapamilya Network remains uncertain although he gave an assurance that the Lower House under his helm will exercise fairness in tackling the matter amidst earlier opposition from no less than the chief executive.
“We will be fair. It’s our duty to be fair, when we will take it up I’ve already stated in public at saka sa mga chairman, tapusin muna ang mga priority bills para naka-focus tayo diyan,” said Cayetano.
“I’ll just assure the public whether they are for or against ABS, that we will do it with due process and we will find a conclusion that is acceptable to everyone but will be good for the country, remember may Senate at Presidente pa,” he added.
About five proposed legislations were recently filed under the 18th Congress which seek to grant ABS-CBN a fresh 25-year franchise.