Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said President Rodrigo Duterte is “completely neutral” on the shutdown of giant media company ABS-CBN yesterday, May 5.
“Huwag po kayong mag-alala mga congressmen. Hindi po magagalit, hindi matutuwa ang Presidente kung kayo po’y ipasa ang ABS-CBN. Completely neutral po ang Presidente d’yan,” Roque said.
(Congressmen should not worry. The President will not get mad, happy if you pass the ABS-CBN franchise. The President is completely neutral there.)
Roque also said Duterte questions why congress could not pass a law giving ABS-CBN franchise license if it could pass a bill requesting National Telecommunications Commission the broadcasting company a provisional authority.
“Ang panindigan po ng Presidente, kung nakuha naman po ng Kongreso na magpasa ng resolution na humingi sa NTC (National Telecommunications Commission) na magbigay ng provisional authority, bakit hindi na lang magpasa ng batas na nagbibigay ng franchise sa ABS-CBN?” he told state-run channel PTV-4.
(The stand of our President there is that if Congress was able to pass a resolution asking the NTC to give ABS-CBN provisional authority to operate, why not just pass a law that would provide ABS-CBN a franchise.)
Roque said even if Duterte wants to grant ABS-CBN a permit, he has no authority to do so since the Congress has the “primary and exclusive jurisdiction” over the license to operate media outlets.
Duterte no power on ABS-CBN shutdown
Duterte could not also put the franchise hearing as urgent because it involves “private interest,” said Roque.
“Kahit gusto po na makapagbigay ng prangkisa ng Presidente mismo, wala po siyang ganiyang kapangyarihan,” he said.
(Even if the President wants to grant the franchise, he has no power to do so.)
Roque also said Monday the fate of broadcasting company ABS-CBN would solely depend on the decision of the NTC.
“Ang Solicitor General ay alter ego ng ating Presidente, at sumulat nga siya sa NTC. This must be dealt with by the NTC as a quasi-judicial body,” Roque said.
(The Solicitor General is the alter ego of our President, and he indeed wrote to NTC. This must be dealt with by the NTC as a quasi-judicial body.)
“Aantayin po natin ang sagot ng NTC. Ang desisyon po ng NTC ang ipapatupad ng Presidente. Hindi puwedeng impluwensiyahan ng Presidente ang NTC,” Roque added.
(We will wait for the NTC’s answer. The President will implement the decision of NTC. The President cannot influence the NTC.)