SOURCE: GMA NETWORK
Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa on Thursday shrugged off the possibility that ABS-CBN’s franchise won’t be renewed and it will cease operations permanently, saying it does not concern him personally.advertisement
“Wala akong nakikitang epekto. Hindi naman ako apektado dahil ‘di naman ako [taga-] ABS-CBN. Iyong ABS-CBN ang maapektuhan,” dela Rosa said in a virtual forum.
As for the estimated 11,000 employees that will be affected when ABS-CBN closes for good, Dela Rosa said they could always look for other employers.
“Meron pa naman ibang news outfit. Hanap [na lang kayo] ng ibang trabaho para mabuhay. Magsumikap. May ibang paraan pa naman siguro,” dela Rosa said, adding looking for job is better than railing against the government.
“Alangan naman sabihin ko maghimagsik kayo, magwala kayo. Hanap na lang kayo ibang trabaho,” he said.
The former national police chief and close administration ally made the comments ahead of the expected vote on the pending franchise application of ABS-CBN in the House of Representatives, which has conducted over a dozen hearings on the merits and demerits of the franchise.
Dela Rosa also said such permanent closure is not likely to affect the country “as a whole.” “Ako, di naman ako apektado dahil meron din naman ibang news outfit na magpe-perform. Wala ako nakikita epekto as a whole,” he said.
Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri, meanwhile, urged House members to give the network a chance to reform rather than put 11,000 people out of work amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Nalulungkot po ako sa posibilidad na di mabigyan ng prangkisa ang ABS-CBN. Lalo po akong nalulungkot sa 11,000 pamilya na mawawalan ng trabaho. Nalulungkot din ako sa bilyong pisong mawawala na kita sa gobyerno dahil sa tax, at lalo po akong nalulungkot sa milyong kababayan na di na po makakapanood,” Zubiri said in a separate virtual forum.
“Umaapela ako sa Kongreso na bigyan na lang ng reporma ang kanilang prangkisa kaysa patayin ang oeprasyon. Give them a chance thru reform rather than shut [it] down.”
At least 11 bills seeking ABS-CBN franchise renewal are pending in the House of Representatives since July 2019.
ABS-CBN’s franchise lapsed last May 4. It went off-air last May 5 after the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) issued a cease and desist order against the broadcast network for lack of franchise.
NTC’s May 5 action was a turnaround from NTC Commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba’s statement before the House of Representatives in March that they will issue a provisional authority to ABS-CBN given that the House and the Senate made communications stating they are in favor of such issuance.
President Rodrigo Duterte, who locked horns with the network over an unaired campaign advertisement in 2016, had threatened ABS-CBN in December last year, saying it will be “out” by 2020.
ABS-CBN had apologized to Duterte for not airing the political ads. –KBK, GMA News