Confusion on ABS-CBN

"Congress better fix this, and soon."


There’s a lot of confusion with regard to the franchise of ABS-CBN, which expires on March 30.

Congress itself is confused on whether or not the network violated its franchise. Some claim that operations would cease on said day if the franchise is not renewed. Others say it can continue t operate until 2022.

There is also a lot of confusion about freedom of the press, freedom of expression and the people’s right to be informed.

If we look at the power of Congress to grant franchises, it is clear that when expiration is nearing, it has the power to extend that franchise.

Thus, it is all up to Congress! Amid the confusion, Congress has the duty to simplify the issue.

It’s easy. Just have both chambers of Congress enact a law extending the franchise—of course, if it chooses to go against the rants of the President about the network not airing his ads during the 2016 campaign.

I would be the first to fight for ABS-CBN if I honestly believed that freedom of the press would be curtailed with the non-extension of the franchise. But I think these are two separate things.

Granted that the franchise is not renewed, would ABS-CBN’s journalists lose their press freedom and freedom of expression? No.

Some taipan could actually act as a white knight and buy the profitable network.

It seems the network has so many supporters. Congress should just enact a law. Sure, President Duterte could veto it, but this veto can be overturned by a two-thirds vote.

I hope the confusion ends soon.

* * *

An issue spawned by President Duterte’s open-door policy toward China is that Chinese cartels and syndicates are coming here, helped by the visa-upon-arrival scheme facilitated by corrupt elements of the Immigration bureau.

Look what is happening, my gulay. There are even prostitutes catering only to Chinese customers. Some hotels are being used as prostitution dens.

Making matters worse is the entry of Chinese drug cartels, all with the protection of shady Filipino officials.

I am insulted, as a Filipino, about the Chinese acting like our country were their playground. They commit crimes like kidnapping, extortion and prostitution.

I am not promoting Sinophobia, but I believe the Duterte administration should review its China policy.

* * *

Did it ever occur to the President that when he ordered Foreign Affairs Secretary Teddyboy Locsin to write Washington, D.C. to terminate the Visiting Forces Agreement, we would have more to lose than gain?

Obviously not.

What makes it worse is that it was done in reaction to the cancellation of the US visa of Duterte ally, Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa.

I agree that there are some onerous provisions of the treaty, but that is no reason for abrogation. Why not just amend?

The VFA has its advantages. It has a purpose, mainly to act as deterrent to China’s growing expansionism. We need America’s presence in the event of emergencies. Yes, we have an independent foreign policy. But we should not risk aid and security, especially from China’s expansionism!

* * *

According to the latest ranking of universities worldwide by London-based Times Higher Education, the University of the Philippines is the 70th among universities in emerging economies. De La Salle University slid in ranking. Ateneo—where I spent the best years of my life—was not even mentioned.

Topics: ABS-CBN , Congress , Rodrigo Duterte , Teddyboy Locsin
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