Senator Go urges fellow lawmakers to decide whether to renew or deny ABS-CBN’s franchise

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Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go has   urged fellow lawmakers to decide whether to renew or deny media giant ABS-CBN’s franchise.

Go  raised concerns on the motives behind the approach of passing a joint resolution seeking to extend ABS-CBN’s franchise until the end of 2022.

Joint Resolution No.11 aims to extend the network giant’s franchise until December 31, 2022 amid “uncertainties on the fate of the network.”

In an ambush interview after the Senate public hearing on ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal, Go raised concerns regarding the joint resolution filed by the Senate minority leader.

“Dalawang tanong lang. Bakit i-extend? Why December 2022? It has something to do with politics again,” Go said, adding that the President’s term would have expired by that time.

Instead of extending the franchise of the network through a joint resolution, Go said that the Lower House should just vote to approve or deny the pending bills in the Congress. 

“By that time, tapos na ang termino ni Pangulo. Parang sinasabi n’yo na ayaw n’ya aprubahan kaya i-extend na lang. Pag-usapan na natin ngayon, ngayon na,” he added. 

“‘Di pa maipasa, napapaso na nga kaya sabi ko kung nagawa ng Senado mapag-usapan, bakit ‘di n’yo magawa sa Kongreso. Hintayin pa ba natin na mapaso? Sabi ko ‘di na nga sana kailangan ng joint reso extending up to 2022. Either ipasa natin or hindi,” he said.

As for the provisional authority being pushed to allow ABS-CBN to operate beyond the expiry date of its franchise, Go said. “D’yan tayo pupunta. Ayoko nga may mawalan ng trabaho. Ayokong maputol ‘yun dahil sa kakulangan ng panahon. Kawawa ang mga trabahante.”

Asked for President Rodrigo Duterte’s possible reaction to the discussions in the Senate hearing, Go said, “I can’t answer that, only the President, kung sakaling maghilom ang sugat.”

“Hindi naman po namin masyadong pinag-uusapan pero ngayon napaintindi ko sa mga Pilipino kung ano ang nararamdaman, ano ang sakit, ngayon alam na ng mga Pilipino ang isa sa mga dahilan, ‘yung sugat na iniwan,” he added. 

Referring to the black propaganda aired against the President during the campaign period in 2016, Go mentioned, “Nakita n’yo naman kanina ano ang inilabas at naging priority noong nakaraang halalan noong 2016.”

“Nakita n’yo naman ang sulat after a year. Ano ang gagawin mo sa pera, importante ‘yun during the very crucial times ng period ng election, make or break ito kapag isa kang kandidato.”

“Nagtataka lang po ako bakit mas binigyan pa ng slot ang black propaganda… Paninira po ‘yun sa isang kandidato. Siraan siya para bumaba ang rating that time. Very crucial ‘yun kaya siniraan siya,” he added.

During the Senate hearing on issues surrounding ABS-CBN’s franchise, Go said that it is clear that someone went overboard in trying to malign the President by airing the black propaganda ads in 2016.

“Remember, in an election campaign, especially in a presidential campaign, there is no tomorrow. Every second matters. Isa lang ang mananalo kaya malaking bagay ang makapag-ere ng mga ads. Napaka-unfair naman kung inere yung sa kalaban mo, alam naman nating black propaganda, inuna pa iyon. Kaysa i-ere sa iyo wala, na bayad naman na,” Go said during the hearing.

Asked if the President will accept the ABS-CBN’s apology, Go said, “Hopefully, tanggapin n’ya ang sorry. May puso naman ang mahal na Pangulo kaya naman siya minamahal ng taumbayan.”/Stacy Ang 

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