By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN
House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano said the alleged bad labor practices committed by embattled broadcast giant ABS-CBN can affect the outcome of its application for franchise renewal amid its impending expiration by the end March.
In an ambush interview in Parañaque City, Cayetano said while supporters and sympathizers of the Lopez-owned media conglomerate have been raising the issue of massive unemployment due to the 11,000 employees of the Kapamilya network that might lose their job once its current franchise expires next month, it seems that they were mum over its alleged bad labor practices.
“Sabihin natin, 11,000 na empleyado. Eh wala pa ‘kong naririnig dun sa mga 11,000 na naapi eh,” said Cayetano.
“Yung mga contractual. ‘Yung mga tinanggal. ‘Yun mga ‘pag lumipat ng ibang channel, hindi tatanggapin pabalik. ‘Yung mga iba na 15 months, 6 months, 9 months, hindi binigyan ng trabaho,” he added.
ABS-CBN has been accused of multiple violations of the Labor Code particularly over issues of alleged “union busting” as well labor contractualization, also known as “endo” that led to mass layoff of its ground personnel in the past.
Daily broadsheet Business Mirror in 2010 reported in 2010 over 130 ABS-CBN Internal Job Market (IJM) employees “were arbitrarily terminated by the network, many of whom have been serving the company from five to more than 10 years.”
Cayetano stressed that the issue in the franchise renewal of ABS-CBN is not solely press freedom considering these controversies against the Lopez-owned company.
“It’s a delicate balance. How do you hold ABS-CBN accountable for some perceived violations of the franchise?” said Cayetano.
“On the other hand, how do you protect press freedom? And what is a just ruling vis-à-vis ‘yung mga allegations? Pero nandun pa lang tayo sa allegation,” he added.