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Palace: Duterte to sign networkâs franchise bill ifâ¦
Duterte has been keeping a neutral stance because the Chief Executive wants to respect the independence of a co-equal branch of government, he said.
Joven Cagande, file

Palace: Duterte to sign network’s franchise bill if…

Christina Mendez (The Philippine Star) - May 8, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Amid the controversy, presidential spokesman Harry Roque Jr. yesterday assured the public that President Duterte would sign the franchise bill for ABS-CBN once it gets the approval of the House of Representatives and the Senate.

“Unless there’s any further constitutional infirmity, I don’t think we would veto, but it depends because it’s still speculative, there’s no bill or law yet,” Roque said at virtual press briefing.

Duterte has been keeping a neutral stance because the Chief Executive wants to respect the independence of a co-equal branch of government, he said.

“It’s enough that he has cleared the air, he is now neutral as far as the franchise of ABS-CBN is concerned,” Roque added.

Roque also brushed aside insinuations that the issue has become political since Duterte has been vocal in the past about his anger over the alleged non-airing of his campaign advertisements during the 2016 presidential campaign.

“When it comes to political issue, the Presdent has done what he can. He has ordered his allies to be neutral on the ABS-CBN case,” he said in Filipino.

“If before the President was angry, he had accepted the apology of ABS-CBN and even told his allies to vote according to their conscience,” he added.

On the fate of the network’s 11,000 workers, Roque said Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III has assured them that they are protected under the law despite the network’s closure.

Malacañang also slammed critics for comparing the government’s decision to approve the resumption of the operations of Philippine offshore gaming operations (POGOs) to the move to stop ABS-CBN operations.

Roque noted that POGOs provide more revenues to the government at an estimated P22 billion a year and employment to about 35,000 people.

“POGOs generate about P600 million a month in regulatory fees alone, P22 billion a year in income and P180 million in withheld income tax,” Roque said.

The President should not be blamed for the fate of ABS-CBN, he added.

Related video:

ABS-CBN DUTERTE
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