“Chill ka lang.” This is the advice of Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano to Senator Grace Poe after the latter said that the House Committee on Legislative Franchises’ decision to cancel the franchise of ABS-CBN Corporation has a “chilling effect” on the media organization.
In his Facebook post, Cayetano said that the country was “on the right track” and that Poe had warned wrongly about the message he wanted to convey in the dismissal of the said network’s franchise against the press.
Although the leader of the House of Representatives agreed that the dismissal of the ABS-CBN franchise would be a “precedent”, he said it was a fight against abuse.
“It is precisely the precedent we want to make – that the House of Representatives will never tolerate anyone, including oligarchs, who will abuse the system and cheat both the government and our people. So that this is clear, I ask that she please read the Committee’s findings and the decision,” said the lawmaker.
Like Poe, Vice President Leni Robredo had earlier warned about the alleged “chilling” effect of what the Committee did to journalists and freedom of expression.
That is why Cayetano again urged Poe and Robredo to read the Committee’s decision and watch the hearings to understand what happened.
“The only chilling effect the denial has are on those who would abuse the system and hold cavalier attitudes towards our laws, and even the Philippine Constitution,” Cayetano insisted.
Earlier, Poe said in an interview with CNN Philippines on Monday, that the “chilling effect” of the ABS-CBN franchise killing committee should not affect journalists in revealing the truth and criticizing the government.
“I would say that it’s foreboding. For many, this will be seen as a warning. Dapat bang matakot ang media? Sana huwag,” said Poe.
“Dahil importante talaga ang trabaho ng media para mailahad ang nangyayari at ang taumbayan ang mismong magdedesisyon kung ito ba ay patas o hindi,” she added.
But according to Cayetano, other broadcast networks also had hearings on their franchise, but there was no problem.
“That is because their exercise of the freedom of speech and of the Press, was never employed to mask the corporate practices of their owners that screwed the system and our people – to the tune of billions of pesos,” Cayetano said.