Palace: Bring ABS-CBN franchise renewal appeals to Congress

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MANILA, Philippines – Malacanang said on Tuesday that people should bring appeals on the ABS-CBN franchise renewal to the congress. It clarified that President Rodrigo Duterte remains ‘neutral’ on the matter.

Different sectors have urged the president to back the bill renewing the said broadcasting company. They stipulated that a lot of people will lose their jobs amid the pandemic once the network shuts down.

READ: ABS-CBN shutdown a ‘betrayal of 11,000 workers,’ labor groups say

The Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches stated that they are looking forward to peace talks between both parties.

“Perhaps we have to address the appeal to Congress,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said. He added that the lawmakers will still make the final decision.

RELATED STORY: DOLE withdraws ABS-CBN labor violation clearance

Roque explained, “The president has said that members of Congress can vote according to their conscience because he is neutral.”

ABS-CBN franchise renewal not under Duterte’s hands

“The position of the president is he is neutral when it comes to ABS-CBN. They apologized and he has forgiven them. He is neutral, vote according to your conscience,” Roque reiterated.

The spokesperson was pertaining to ABS-CBN chief executive Carlo Katigbak. Last February, he apologized to the president for not airing the president’s add in the 2016 presidential campaign.

He mentioned that they just made the action they saw fit given campaign guidelines.

That time, the president accepted the apology and asked the company to donate a sum of P2.6 million.

Roque stressed that, “Let’s just respect the power of the Lower House because the bill renewing the franchise of ABS-CBN should emanate from them.”

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