Palace reiterates President Rodrigo Duterte’s neutrality on the legislative franchise issue of broadcasting giant ABS-CBN as it advised groups to direct appeals to Congress.
Several groups in various sectors have urged the president to show his support to the filed bills renewing the franchise of ABS-CBN, reminding him that amid the COVID-19 pandemic, thousands of workers may lose their jobs if the owned network shuts down.
“Perhaps we have to address the appeal to Congress because the decision would be made by Congress. The President has said that members of Congress can vote according to their conscience because he is neutral,” presidential spokesman Harry Roque said.
“The position of the President is he is neutral when it comes to ABS-CBN. They apologized and he has forgiven them,” he added, referring to ABS-CBN president and chief executive officer Carlo Katigbak, who apologized to Duterte in February for not airing his advertisements during the 2016 presidential race.
“Let’s just respect the power of the Lower House because the bill renewing the franchise of ABS-CBN should emanate from them,” Roque said.