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Too hot to handle? Sotto, Pia Cayetano abstain from voting on resolution vs. ABS-CBN shutdown

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Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III and eight other senators have abstained from voting on the resolution calling on the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to reconsider its shutdown order for ABS-CBN.

Aside from Sotto, those who abstained from voting on Senate Resolution 395 were Senators Pia Cayetano, Panfilo Lacson, Francis Tolentino, Cynthia Villar, Imee Marcos, Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa, Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go and Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr.

Cayetano’s brother, House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, has been sitting on ABS-CBN’s franchise application for more than a year.

The senators who abstained explained that the issue has already been filed before the Supreme Court and that the franchise renewal of ABS-CBN should emanate from the House of Representatives.

Despite the abstention of nine senators, the resolution was adopted as 12 senators voted in its favor.

PSR 395 also urged the NTC to allow the continuous operation of ABS-CBN, its subsidiaries and affiliates pending the disposition of its franchise renewal.

The resolution states that “now more than ever, in the middle of the biggest public health crisis of our generation, the Filipino people deserve access to up-to-date news provided by a free and unfettered media, and multiple sources of information provide the best pathways for truth to emerge.”

“Equally important, the cease and desist order against ABS-CBN will impact on 13,000 of its workers, creating joblessness that could not be more ill-timed given the looming economic recession caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” the resolution read.

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