Party-list Rep. Lito Atienza has accused the House leadership of sitting on the consolidated franchise bills of embattled network giant ABS-CBN.
In a news forum in Quezon City, Atienza who represents Buhay Party-list group claimed that House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and other congressmen’s inaction over the pending legislations that seek to grant the Lopez-owned media conglomerate was due to the reason that they seemed to be afraid of backlash from no less than President Rodrigo Duterte himself.”
“The franchise is not being discussed—including the Speaker, inuupan lang ‘yung issue,” said Atienza.
Duterte, a fierce critic of ABS-CBN’s owner the Lopez family, in many occasions vowed to bloc the any attempt to bloc the legislative franchise renewal of the 65-year old company amid the expiration of its current franchise by the end of March
“Ayaw niyong aksyunan dahil takot kayo. Ayaw niyong sumuway sa sinasabi ng ating Pangulo,” Atienza said during the Pandesal News Forum.
Committee on legislative franchise vice chair and Isabela Rep. Antonio “Tonypet” Albano admitted in an interview with radio DZBB that congressmen are “being applied pressure from all sides by no less than the President” and the embattled media network itself.
Atienza, father of Kapamilya television host and weatherman Kim Atienza stressed Congress should just permanently close if it fails to perform its constitutional duties in hearing the pending franchise bills of ABS-CBN filed in the present 18th Congress.
“Yung ayaw magtrabaho ang laki ng pinto ng Kongreso, umalis na kayo. There are many competent Filipinos who can serve better. Ayaw ninyo aksyunan dahil takot kayo, isara na lang natin ang kongreso,” said Atienza.