Talk is cheap.
After breaking his silence on ABS-CBN Corp.’s shutdown and promising yet again to tackle with haste its franchise renewal, Speaker Alan Cayetano’s words remain as empty promises.
The House of Representatives has not scheduled any hearing to discuss the 12 bill seeking to extend the franchise of ABS-CBN which expired on May 4.
Eight House committees are scheduled to hold hearings via Zoom teleconference from May 11 to May 13, none of which will tackle the franchise of ABS-CBN which claimed that it has been losing as much as P35 million per day since it went off the air on May 5.
The committee on legislative franchises led by Palawan Rep. Franz Alvarez, who was quick to blame NTC for ABS-CBN’s shutdown even though he has not scheduled any hearing for the TV giant as head of the committee since 2016, has yet to declare when it would hold ABS-CBN’s hearing.
The House will go on vacation on June 5, which means it only has nine working days (House sessions are only held from Monday to Wednesday) to start the ball rolling on ABS-CBN’s franchise.
On Thursday, Cayetano, who threatened to pay back the NTC for double crossing Congress (it issued a cease and desist order instead of a provisional authority as it promised) and for bowing to the threat of Solicitor General Jose Calida, vowed yet again to tackle ABS-CBN’s franchise.
“For those asking what Congress will do – the answer is simple – our job.
The Committee on Legislative Franchises will conduct hearings in a manner that is consistent with what we have always said. That is – fair, impartial, thorough, and comprehensive. We would have wanted todo this in an orderly manner. But what we want and what we have to deal with are two different things,” said Cayetano on Facebook.
Two weeks before the governmetn declared a lockdown due to the coronavirus, Cayetano said the House would tackle ABS-CBN’s franchise issue in May or after President Rodrigo Duterte’s State of the Nation Address in July.
With economic and social problems mounting every due to the pandemic, Cayetano, Alvarez and their House allies have more than enough excuses to keep ABS-CBN’s franchise hearings in the back burner.
The House of
Representatives website posts the committee schedules for next week.
Still no Schedule for the ABS-CBN Franchise or the Legislative
Franchises Committee, as of 313PM, May, 8, 2020. pic.twitter.com/lYRhopi2gO
RG Cruz (@R_G_Cruz888) May