Sa isang nakakagulat na pangyayari sa pagdiig para sa legislative franchise ng ABS-CBN, binawi ni COngressman Ron Salo ang suporta nito sa franchise bill ng ABS-CBN. Isa si Salo sa mga kongresista na naghain ng panukalang batas para mabigyan ng prangkisa ang Kapamilya network.
Inalmahan ni Congressman Salo ang naging ulat ng isa sa mga reporter ng ABS-CBN na si Christian Esguerra kung saan sinabi ng mamamahayag na naglatag diumano siya ng mahigpit ng regulasyon para sa ABS-CBN.
“I am one of the few authors who wish to grant ABS-CBN a new franchise as I desired to give a new lease of life. I filed House Bill 6901 because the party-list group, Kabayan Party-list, the party-list I represent, was on the legal impression that ABS-CBN is worthy thereof.
And while ABS-CBN is not a perfect company, it will strive to be better. Further, at the time I filed the bill, we were of the impression that ABS-CBN will be able to fully explain and rebut the numerous alleged violations hurled against it… on the constitutional requirement of Filipino Ownership and Management of mass media entities, of labor laws and standards, of non-payment of proper amount of taxes, on legal assignment of franchise without congressional approval, and (on) biased reporting, among others.
Finally, we initially thought that providing certain parameters to address the alleged violations of ABS-CBN in the franchise to be granted will be welcomed by the applicant.
The proposed seven parameters are:
First, strict compliance with the Constitution, laws, rules and regulations, including labor laws and standards, promotion of employment and security of tenure, ensuring balanced and impartial reporting, promotion of positive Filipino values, provision of public service time, strengthened self-regulation of content, and reasonable and equitable rates of election ads.
Most of these proposed parameters were already present in ABS-CBN’s expired franchise and in the current franchise of other networks, while the others are deemed written therein.
Wala po akong nilalatag na bagong regulasyon sa prangkisa ng ABS-CBN. Nililinaw at iniisa-isa ko lang ang mga ito na pamantayan na kailangan lang nilang sundin sapagkat sa dami ng alegasyon ng paglabag, lumalabas na nakakaligtaan o napapabayaan ng mga nagpapalakad ng ABS-CBN ang mga obligasyon nila sa bayan at sa ating mga mamamayan.
And yet, I was reported to be imposing strict regulations to ABS-CBN with their proposed parameters. ABS-CBN’s Christian V. Esguerra reported that the proposed parameters “was the government’s way to control the shattered news network that repeatedly criticized President Rodrigo Duterte.”
Journalism professor Christian Esguerra passed it on as a news article and yet, the first sentence is already based on his biased personal opinion. Okay lang po sana kung ang sinulat ni Ginoong Esguerra ay isang opinyon o editorial at hindi news article.
Mr. Esguerra’s inability to be impartial is perhaps the primary reason for his fierce objection to my proposed measure. He had difficulty separating facts from opinion. For indeed, news has to be about facts. And if one has to report an opinion, then there must be proper attribution. But it’s a cardinal sin for journalists to pass his opinions as facts.
Now, as the hearings draw to a close after spending many days, several weeks, and countless hours listening to the testimonies and answers of resource persons, both for and against the grant of a new franchise to ABS-CBN in which I have actively participated, my party-list and our constituents who expressed their sentiments in their social media posts are convinced that the pieces of evidence presented, discussed, and distilled in the hearings favor the oppositors.
Sa pagtatasa namin, ang mga nailatag na ebidensiya ay mas pumapabor sa mga hindi pumapayag na mabigyang muli ng bagong prangkisa ang ABS-CBN. My partylist deems that ABS-CBN failed to successfully rebut the long list of alleged violations and thus, this representation cannot anymore support the grant of a new franchise to ABS-CBN.
Dahil dito, hindi na kayang suportahan ng Kabayan Party-List ang pagbibigay ng bagong prangkisa sa ABS-CBN. I am respectfully manifesting to this honorable committee my withdrawal of my authorship of House Bill No. 6901.
I have already submitted this afternoon to the Bills and Index (Division) of the House of Representatives my letter formally withdrawing my authorship thereof, a copy of which I will send to the honorable Joint Committees.
Before I end, Mr. Chairman, my heart grieves for the ABS-CBN employees who face possible displacement, particularly at this time of the pandemic. As an act of redemption for its employees, I hope that ABS-CBN will be generous enough to attend to each employee’s needs in this difficult times as it may be its last act of magnanimity to the people it has considered its family.
In any case, I am certain that this will just be a temporary setback to a majority of its employees as other networks and stations will readily accept a workforce that comes with proven talents and expertise.
Nonetheless, I shall continue to push for the inclusion of the seven parameters I outlined in House Bill 6901 and 6902, particularly a pro-labor provision to be the underlying principles of all broadcast media in the Philippines.
Mananatili ang aming marubdob na pagnanais na magkaroon ng malinaw na proteksyon sa karapatan ng ating mga manggagawa sa lahat ng networks.
Maraming salamat po, Mr. Chairman.”