MANILA — Senator Christopher “Bong” Go on Wednesday urged the House of Representatives to start tackling the franchise renewal of ABS-CBN Corporation to settle once and for all the pressing issues concerning the broadcast network.
“Pag mas lalo natin pinapatagal, mas lalong umiinit ang isyu. Ito naman ang proseso, pag-usapan nyo then papadala dito sa Senado (The more we delay, the more the issue becomes hotter. This is the process anyway, discuss it then send here to the Senate),” Go said in an interview.
“Then the President will decide, hayaan natin siya ang magdesisyon (let him decide to) approve or exercise his power to veto,” he said.
He said hearing the bills on renewing the network’s franchise is also better than extending its existing franchise until 2022 as proposed in a joint resolution filed by Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon.
Go cited a recent Supreme Court decision that stated that a joint resolution of Congress cannot amend an existing law.
“A joint resolution extending the franchise of ABS-CBN until December 2022 is in effect amending the existing franchise, which may be questioned later,” he said.
On the other hand, Go said he is amenable to the suggestion that the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) grant the network a provisional authority to operate when its franchise expires on March 30 “for the benefit” of its 11,000 workers.
He said if the NTC has granted provisional authorities before to other companies then the same privilege should be extended to ABS-CBN.
“Ayokong may mawalan ng trabaho. Lahat ng Filipino ay gusto natin magkaroon ng opportunity na mabuhay at ayaw natin magutom (I don’t want anyone losing their jobs. We want all Filipinos to have the opportunity to live and be free from hunger),” Go said.
He also denied that President Rodrigo Duterte wanted ABS-CBN closed.
Go said the President may be vocal in expressing his sentiments but he has yet to hear the Chief Executive give an order against the network.
“Knowing the President, di naman siya vindictive, at parati nya sinasabi vote according to your conscience at unahin ang interest ng Filipino (he is not vindictive, and he always tells us to vote according to our conscience and to prioritize the interest of Filipinos),” Go said. (iam/sovereignph.com/PNA)