Senator Manny Pacquiao, on Thursday, said he is praying to God that President Rodrigo Duterte would reverse National Telecommunications Commission’s (NTC) order to shutdown ABS-CBN.
“Dito sa pag-ooperate ng ABS-CBN may magagawa naman ang Pangulo. Dito sa pagsasara hindi naman natin siguro pwedeng sisihin ang Pangulo sa naging desisyon ng NTC,” Pacquiao, who is also a preacher, said in an interview on ANC.
(The President can do something on ABS-CBN’s operation. We cannot blame the President on the closure because it is NTC’s decision.)
“Pero I’m hoping, I’m praying na hipuin ng Panginoon ang Pangulo na tulungan at kausapin ang NTC na bigyan ng provisional authority to operate [ang ABS-CBN] while the pending renewal bill ay dinidinig ng House at Senate,” he added.
(But I’m hoping, I’m praying that God would touch the President to help and talk to NTC to give ABS-CBN a provisional authority to operate while the House and Senate tackle it pending renewal bill.)
The boxing champ turned senator also said it would not be the first time that NTC would allow an establishment to operate despite an expired franchise using a provisional authority.
The Palace, however, stood firm that Duterte could not do anything with ABS-CBN’s closure.
“If the President can even exercise appellate jurisdiction to the decisions of the NTC, then perhaps the President can intervene. The reality is no. We do not have appellate jurisdiction,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said.
Sorsogon Governor and former senator Francis “Chiz,” Escudero also said Dutere could overturn NTC’s decision because the agency is under his office.
“PRRD (Duterte’s initials) can reverse the order of the NTC, being under the OP,” Escudero, who is also a lawyer, said in a Twitter post.
Roque refuted Escudero saying, NTC is attached to the Department of Information and Communications Technology but “only for purposes of policies and programs.”
Pacquiao says ABS-CBN shutdown different from its martial law closure
Pacquiao also believes the company’s closure is different from what happened to ABS-CBN during the regime of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
“Ang pagsara ng ABS-CBN hindi dapat ikumpara sa martial law. Hindi naman tayo martial law, iba na generation natin ngayon. Kailangan lang natin ng pagkakaunawaan, pagkakaisa,” he said.
(ABS-CBN’s closure should not be compared with martial law. We are not under martial law. Our generation now is different. We need understanding and unity.)
The senator was also concerned with ABS-CBN employees who lost their jobs.
“‘Yung pamilya na nawalan ng trabaho, saan sila kukuha at maghahanap ng trabaho sa panahon ngayon ng crisis na ito?” he asked.
(The family of those who lost their job, where will they get a new job in this time of crisis?)