The issue on the shutdown of ABS-CBN has turned into a blame game between the lawmakers, House Speaker Alan Cayetano, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), and Solicitor General Jose Calida.
“I would like to apologize for the failure of Congress to do its job. Kasalanan namin ito eh. Kasalanan ng Kongreso ito. But more important, I’d like to say, squarely, kasalanan ni Speaker Cayetano ito. Pagkukulang niya ito sa bayan,” Buhay Representative Lito Atienza told ANC’s Headstart on Wednesday, May 6.
(I would like to apologize for the failure of Congress to do its job. This is our fault. This is Congress’ fault. But more important, I’d like to say, squarely, this is Speaker Cayetano’s fault. This is what he failed to do for the nation.)
“I have repeatedly warned that Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano’s proffered solution for NTC to grant ABS-CBN a provisional authority to operate, despite the lapse of its franchise, is against the law and jurisprudence,” Albay 1st District Representative Edcel Lagman said.
Both Atienza and Lagman filed bills to renew the franchise of ABS-CBN.
Cayetano points finger to Solicitor General and NTC on ABS-CBN shutdown
House Speaker Alan Cayetano meanwhile blames Solicitor General Jose Calida for pressuring NTC to issue a cease and desist order against ABS-CBN on Tuesday.
“Last Tuesday we were all ambushed by the NTC,” he said in a Facebook post.
Cayetano said the NTC gave them a word in March that it would give ABS-CBN a Provisional Authority that would allow the network to continue broadcasting until the Congress was able to reach a final decision.
“With this assurance, we wasted no time in addressing the bigger threat facing the country,” he said.
However, “despite their assurance given under oath. Despite the legal opinion of the Department of Justice. Despite a resolution from the Senate, and several verbal and written assurances given to Congress,” Cayetano said citing the NTC appeared to have “succumbed to pressure from the Solicitor General, and issued a cease and desist order to ABS-CBN.”
Documents showed Calida allegedly pressuring NTC to shut down ABS-CBN surfaced online.
Cayetano, in the end, said the Congress would “fix the mistakes others make” and Committee on Legislative Franchises would conduct “fair, impartial, thorough, and comprehensive” hearings for the ABS-CBN franchise.