Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano said Thursday no one is forcing the Lopez family to sell ABS-CBN after the House Committee on Legislative Franchises did not renew the network’s franchise.
Cayetano said in an interview with CNN-Philippines that “no one should force anyone to sell nor buy” property in a democratic country.
“Ang narinig kong sinabi ni LRay [Deputy Speaker Luis Raymund Villafuerte] na kung mahal ng Lopezes and empleyado nila, consider na i-sell because para tumuloy-tuloy pa rin intact yung grupo nila,” he said.
(What I heard is LRay [Deputy Speaker Luis Raymund Villafuerte] said that if Lopezes and their employees love the network, they should consider selling it because so their group would remain intact,” he said.
The House Speaker was referring to an ANC interview of Villafuerte last week where he suggested the Lopez family should sell ABS-CBN Corporation to save its around 11,000 employees from unemployment or take the risk of remaining closed even after Duterte’s term.
“Bottomline, my suggestion to the Lopez family, they just sell the corporation. If they really love the 11,000 employees or more and they really want to serve the Filipino people, ibenta na lang iyong kumpanya,” Villafuerte said.
“Ako, I will support the renewal under new management,” the solon added.
Meanwhile, Anakalusugan party-list Representative Mike Defensor said ABS-CBN employees could create a cooperative and form new management. Cayetano supported the suggestion.
“I’ve always believed that we should support cooperatives and startups that government should make capital easy for them,” he said.
“So if you’re asking me is it possible for the ABS-CBN employees including their big stars to take over both entertainment and news and public affairs, ang answer ko is yes. Is it easy? Definitely no,” he added.
Cayetano said the idea of ABS-CBN taking over the network’s management could be done if the company owners would support it.
“Ang main issue kasi dito for most of the congressmen is really how ABS-CBN flaunted the law, went around tax laws, election laws, and how they used ABS-CBN to protect their business and to be kingmakers and kingslayers in Philippine politics,” he said.
“Yan ang issue diyan and it’s only history that will be able to judge…. I’ve seen the benefits and the danger but history na lang makakajudge nyan so immediately, ang tanong natin, how do we help the industry, not just ABS-CBN,” Cayetano added.