Press Release
May 8, 2020

Dispatch from Crame No. 793:
Sen. Leila M. de Lima on Duterte's Purported Neutrality on the Issue of ABS-CBN Franchise Renewal

Hands-off daw si Duterte sa usapin ng ABS-CBN franchise renewal?Paulit-ulit nyang binalaan at inalipusta ang ABS-CBN. Inupuan nang inupuan ng kanyang mga alipores sa Kongreso ang panukalang franchise renewal nito. The Senate and House of Representatives expressed the view that a grant of a provisional authority would be in order pending proceedings on the franchise renewal. The DOJ backed up said position with a legal opinion. NTC then committed to granting provisional authority to ABS-CBN. Almost everyone of us expected that.

Then here comes Duterte's legal hoodlum, SOLGEN Calida, threatening NTC, a client of his office, against such a grant of provisional authority. He earlier filed a quo warranto petition, his favorite weapon, against ABS-CBN.

Turning around from its commitment, NTC succumbed, inspite of precedents allowing continuance of operations of entities with expired licenses pending renewal.

Quite telling is the manifest disregard of the DOJ's legal opinion by both SOLGEN Calida, supposedly a hierarchical subordinate of the SOJ within the DOJ family structure, and NTC, also an executive office which, ideally, must defer to legal opinions of the SOJ as attorney-general. A no-brainer it is that SOLGEN and NTC are under orders from a higher authority, higher than the SOJ, when they brushed aside the latter's position.

"Neutral" lang daw si Duterte? This bully President not lifting a finger this time? Not even counter-manding either Calida or NTC, which is perfectly within his powers to do? Duterte's hypocritical stance of neutrality is so much of an insult to our intelligence.

Many times, we have been lied to, and manipulated by, this President. And, each time, we let him get away with it.

That is our national tragedy...

(Access the handwritten copy of Dispatch from Crame No. 793, here:


News Latest News Feed