This undated photo shows Deputy Speaker Rodante Marcoleta, representative of Sagip party-list. / Facebook /SAGIP Partylist
MANILA, Philippines — Deputy Speaker Rodante Marcoleta (Sagip Party-list) called ABS-CBN reporter Mike Navallo “un-Filipino” for a story that was released before the lawmaker could hold a press conference that he asked the reporter to set up.
Navallo’s exclusive report was based on legislative records, which are public records.
The House of Representatives’ Committees on Legislative Franchise and Good Government and Public Accountability held a hearing on ABS-CBN franchise bills on Monday.
In his lengthy interpellation Marcoleta took time to rail against Navallo, who reported last week that the lawmaker previously filed a bill to allow dual citizens to run for public office and to grant franchise to companies that have had franchises for more than 50 years.
Marcoleta and other lawmakers have been pounding on US-born ABS-CBN chairman Gabby Lopez’s dual citizenship in the House hearings. Marcoleta had previously and incorrectly claimed that the network can no longer apply for a franchise because of a 50-year limit on the grant of franchises.
Marcoleta said Navallo asked for his side on the story, and both parties agreed to conduct a Zoom interview the following morning, provided that the interview should include other networks.
“He reported it on ‘TV Patrol’. All that he wanted to clarify—he did not give me time [to answer],” the lawmaker said.
“Allegiance po ay importante ma-instill natin sa ABSCBN, ang kaugaliang Pilipino. Yung ginawa po ung reporter na ‘yun na banatan po ako sa kabila ng pagsang-ayon na yan kami ay magzuzoom kinabukasan, hindi po ugaling Pilipino yun,” he said.
(Allegiance is important to be instilled in ABS-CBN… [the] Filipino values. What the reporter did, that he slammed me despite our agreement that we would have Zoom [conference] the following morning, that is not a Filipino value.)
Earlier in the hearing, the lawmaker asked Lopez to recite a line from the “Panatang Makabayan” or Patriotic Oath that school children were made to recite before class. This would supposedly show that Lopez is “100-percent” Filipino despite Philippine law allowing dual citizenship.
The lawmakers had spent hours of the hearing discussing the ABS-CBN executive’s citizenship, even after resource speakers from the government had answered their questions.
Marcoleta said that ABS-CBN reporters should be “giving to others, fair, respectful and humble.”
In a tweet, the ABS-CBN reporter said they would address the lawmaker’s accusations on “TV Patrol” on Monday night.
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