Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Nancy Binay: ABS-CBN, traditional jeeps being treated unfairly

Sen. Nancy Binay, in Wednesday’s hybrid hearing, June 24, 2020, inquires on reports of Chinese doctors practicing their profession in a makeshift hospital inside a resort in Clark, Pampanga. 

Senator Nancy Binay said on Friday that both the ABS-CBN Corporation and traditional jeepneys were being treated unfairly during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Bakit parang iisa ang guhit ng palad ng ABS-CBN at ng mga traditional jeepney? Kunyari sinasama, pero di sinasali. Naririnig pero di pinakikinggan. Nakikita pero di tinitingnan," Binay said in a Twitter post.

The senator did not elaborate further but she used both #traditionaljeepneys and #ABSFranchiseHearing in the said social media post which came after Cavite Representative Crispin Remulla questioned the continued airing of ABS-CBN programs through its digibox ABS-CBN TV Plus.
ABS-CBN has been off-air since May 5 after the National Telecommunications Commission issued a cease and desist order against it. The media network's 25-year franchise lapsed while Congress was still deliberating its application for renewal.

The NTC previously said it would heed the advice of the Department of Justice and both houses of Congress to allow the company to continue broadcasting "based on equity."

However, it issued a closure order against ABS-CBN after the Office of the Solicitor General warned that NTC executives could face graft charges should they allow ABS-CBN and its affiliate to continue operations through provisional authorities.

The NTC denied that Solicitor General Jose Calida's warning affected its decision.

The Palace, for its part, said it would not interfere on the matter as it pointed out that President Rodrigo Duterte did not have appellate jurisdiction over the NTC and thus could not order it to reverse its decision.

ABS-CBN asked the Supreme Court to issue a temporary restraining order against the NTC's cease and desist order but the SC deliberations on the matter will only resume on July 13, according to Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta.
Until now, the House Committee on Legislative Franchises and on Good Government and Public Accountability is still hearing the bills seeking to grant another 25-year franchise to ABS-CBN.

President and CEO Carlo Katigbak warned that the company may be forced to lay off some of its workers in August, amid the pandemic, if it will not be able to resume operations soon.

Meanwhile, traditional jeepneys in the country have been barred from ferrying passengers since mobility restrictions have been imposed in March.

The roadworthy ones would be allowed to resume operations either on Thursday or Friday, according to Transportation Assistant Secretary Goddes Libiran.