I bewail the abandonment of HB 6732 on the proposed provisional franchise for ABS-CBN for the following reasons:
(1) This abandonment underscores the failure of leadership in the House after no less than Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano principally authored and passionately sponsored the ill-fated interim franchise whose approval was recommended by the “Committee of the Whole”, which is rarely constituted.
(2) Truly, HB 6732 which started like a bullet train at full speed towards the terminal of approval, has been derailed because of lack of steadfast commitment and independent stewardship in running the legislative train.
(3) House Bill No. 6732 is an ideal compromise to allow ABS-CBN to resume operations under an interim franchise as it affords more time for the House to have a deliberate, judicious and comprehensive consideration of the pending bills for renewal.
(4) There is no overriding reason to abandon HB No. 6732 except for a furtive and sinister outside interference in the discharge of the constitutional duty of the House.
(5) Forfeiting the approval of House Bill No. 6732 is a culpable waste of legislative work spanning almost a week which could have been devoted to equally important measures.
(6) The abandonment of HB No. 6732 quashes the hope for the resumption of ABS-CBN’s operation, albeit on a provisional franchise, for the benefit of the public and the networks’ employees.
(7) Without any timetable for the committee on legislative franchises to start and conduct the “immediate” hearings on the pending bills for the franchise renewal, the fetter on freedom of the press and free expression continues to derogate constitutionally guaranteed rights.
(8) This abandonment gravely compounds the inordinate delay in the consideration of ABS-CBN’s franchise while even as of now, the management of ABS-CBN Corporation has not been notified nor summoned to answer or traverse the purported violations of the network’s franchise.
EDCEL C. LAGMAN