Network franchise tied to Speakership issue—lawmakers

Lawmakers on Thursday expressed belief that the rejection of ABS-CBN franchise renewal has something to do with the scheduled change of leadership in the House of Representatives this October

Reps. Lito Atienza of Buhay, Edcel Lagman of Albay and Joy Tambunting of Parañaque were convinced that the decision of the legislative franchises committee to reject the network’s application was a “political decision.”

“It was an act of subservience to the Palace by its allies in Congress led by Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano,” they said even as they warned that the franchise issue “may affect the term-sharing deal on the speakership post between Cayetano and Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco.”

Atienza raised the possibility that Cayetano will keep his post beyond October as he was able to deliver the alleged President’s wish with the rejection of the ABS-CBN franchise. Cayetano is scheduled to step down by October to give way to Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco.

“We shouldn’t allow that. A gentleman’s agreement is a gentleman’s agreement. It should be honored no matter what. In Filipino, it’s called a gentleman’s agreement and it should honored,” Atienza said.

Lagman shared Atienza’s opinion. “I don’t want to make conjectures on the speakership arrangement. But this was brokered by the President so it is his obligation to see to it that it is carried out,” Lagman said.

Tambunting, for her part, said House members expect the turnover of House leadership in October. “All eyes will be on that.” 

The three lawmakers who backed the grant of franchise renewal of ABS-CBN maintained that Duterte and Cayetano could have a hand in the panel’s decision.

Topics: ABS-CBN , franchise renewal , House of Representatives , Rep. Lito Atienza , Rep. Edcel Lagman , Rep. Joy Tambunting
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