Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano on Thursday raised the issue of what appears to be an unfair distribution of airtime among vice presidential candidates by ABS-CBN during the 2016 campaign.
Cayetano made the remark as he stressed that the House of Representatives needed to conduct hearings before deciding whether or not to renew the network's franchise, which is set to expire in March 2020.
"So, ‘yun po ang problema when you’re saying fair. ‘Yung mga gustong hindi i-grant ‘yung franchise, galit. ‘Yung mga gusto naman na i-grant ‘yung franchise, galit din because we want a categorical answer," Cayetano said.
"Pa’no naman po tayo sasagot kung ‘di pa po tayo naghi-hearing, ‘di ba? Mag-hearing muna tayo, pakinggan natin ‘yung issues, and then base du'n sa papakinggan natin, we will make a decision," he added.
"The decision is a consequence of the hearing and hindi baliktad," Cayetano said.
Cayetano said that the House would be fair in tackling the proposals to extend the franchise of ABS-CBN for another 25 years.
However, he said there were real issues that the network needed to answer.
"Ako mismo, apat kaming naimbitihan na vice president candidate sa dzMM. ‘Yung isa, nilabas sa 6:30 news, sa Bandila, sa Umagang Kay Ganda, and lunch time. ‘Yung dalawa sa amin, DZMM and then Bandila. ‘Yung isa sa amin, sa dzMM, hindi lumabas sa iba," Cayetano said.
"So, may mga katanungan kami o issues. But I’m sure ‘yung network, meron din stand at meron din pagsagot ‘yan," he added.
GMA News Online has sought comment from ABS-CBN but has yet to receive any.
At least six measures have so far been filed at the House aiming to grant ABS-CBN Corporation a franchise to construct, install, establish, operate and maintain broadcasting stations in the Philippines for another 25 years.
The original franchise granted to ABS-CBN Corporation is set to expire on March 30, 2020, or only about five months from now.
President Rodrigo Duterte, in many occasions, has threatened to block the franchise renewal of ABS-CBN Corporation.
This was after the network supposedly did not air a political advertisement that was already paid for during Duterte's presidential bid in the 2016 elections.
He, however, has said he was willing to enter into a compromise deal with ABS-CBN Corporation if the company would promote his bid for a shift to a federal form of government. —NB, GMA News