Buhay party-list Rep. Lito Atienza on Wednesday blamed Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano for Congress’ failure to address the franchise renewal of ABS-CBN network and its shutdown.
“Kasalanan ni Speaker Cayetano ito. Pagkukulang niya ito sa bayan. He will have a lot to explain one day. It may not be today but later on, this issue will hound him because he’s the one who did not do his job even the President kept on reminding him do your job, magtrabaho na kayo aksiyunan n’yo yan. What did we do? Nothing,” Atienza told ANC’s Headstart in an interview.
According to Atienza, the NTC was merely doing its job when it issued a cease order against ABS-CBN.
ABS-CBN network signed off after airing its live broadcast of TV Patrol on Tuesday night following a cease and desist order issued on the same day by the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC).
Atienza, on the other hand, did not blame the NTC for issuing the order.
“I can’t blame the NTC. I don’t agree na tatawagin pa ang NTC para parusahan. Bakit NTC ang parurusahan? Parusahan natin sarili natin,” he said.
Atienza said 11,000 ABS-CBN workers may lose their jobs as a result of the shutdown.
He said the shutdown has deprived millions of Filipinos of free entertainment.
“Speaker Cayetano is doing something else. Para siyang si Nero. While Rome was burning, he was playing music in his chamber….Congress has failed the Filipino people, and we should answer for it,” he said.
Atienza said the ABS-CBN franchise renewal can be approved quickly if it was included in the agenda.
“In one day puwede naming aprubahan ito. Pag ito nilagay sa agenda, sa plenary ngayong hapon, kung gusto nilang pagdebatihan, pagdebatihan pa namin, tapos pagbotohan. In one day matatapos ‘yung trabaho,” he said.
Atienza said whether the franchise renewal gets approved or not is immaterial.
He also urged Palawan 1st District Rep. Franz Alvarez, head of the House Committee on Legislative Franchises, to tell the truth.
“Si Chairman Alvarez, huwag ka nang mambola. Hindi mo tine-take up, ikaw ang chairman. Sabihin mo na ang totoo, ayaw ipa-agenda ni Speaker Cayetano kaya hindi itine-take up ito,” said Atienza.
“Ang dami-dami naming tine-take up na franchise, mga issues sa Committee on Franchises,” he said, referring to Alvarez.
“Yung ABS palagi na lang hindi tine-take up, para bang tinago nila sa kanilang mga attache case o sa Cabinet na ayaw ilabas. That’s the reason na inabot ito nang ganito,” he added.
Atienza rallied his fellow lawmakers to start speaking up on the matter and not merely resort to emotional statements.
“Hindi pa huli ang lahat. If every member of Congress now speaks up, Speaker Cayetano will be drowned out in his position,” he said.
“I hope every member of Congress starts talking like this. Hindi yung dadaanin natin sa emotion, dadaanin natin sa magagandang statements pero sa totoo lang we are not doing everything inside Congress to force the leadership to act on the matter,” he said./Stacy Ang