Vice President Leni Robredo said Roque’s statement contradicted the results of the latest Social Weather Stations survey, which showed 75 percent of Filipinos supporting the franchise renewal of the television network.- Philstar.com/Efigenio Toledo IV
MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Leni Robredo yesterday disagreed with presidential spokesman Harry Roque that the junking of ABS-CBN’s franchise by a committee of the House of Representatives was the “decision of the Filipino people.”
Robredo said Roque’s statement contradicted the results of the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey, which showed 75 percent of Filipinos supporting the franchise renewal of the television network.
“When you say it’s the decision of the people, the (lawmakers) – that’s why they’re called representatives – should represent the views of their constituents,” the Vice President said over dzXL.
The nationwide SWS poll was conducted from July 3 to 6, using mobile phone and computer-assisted telephone interviews of 1,555 adult Filipinos, 18 years old and above.
Results of the survey were released on Saturday, a day after the House of Representatives’ committee on legislative franchises, in a vote of 70-11, denied the network a fresh 25-year franchise.
Robredo also countered Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano’s claim that the panel conducted “fair, impartial, thorough and comprehensive” hearings.
“I think many have watched the hearings and only the people can tell if they think the hearings were impartial,” the Vice President said.
Robredo said just like other candidates during the May 2016 elections, she herself experienced “unfair” treatment from some members of the TV network.
“I also have several ads which were not aired (by ABS-CBN), there were also instances when I felt many people at ABS-CBN were not fair to me, but this is not the time to take revenge due to personal grudges because we’re fighting for a bigger interest, and these are the people depending on the jobs at ABS-CBN,” she said.
Robredo said she did not expect that a closure of a media network would happen again after the Marcos dictatorship.
“I didn’t imagine this would happen again… I thought when we fought a dictator we learned our lesson,” she said.
Meanwhile, human rights lawyer Chel Diokno said the proposed people’s initiative to revive ABS-CBN’s franchise bid is feasible.Paolo Romero, Evelyn Macairan
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