Netizens in the province of Batangas have demanded an explanation from Rep. Raneo Abu over his decision to vote in favor of not granting ABS-CBN a new TV and radio broadcasting franchise.
By being one of the 70 members of the House of Representatives who shut the door on ABS-CBN, Abu stood diametrically opposed to another Batangas lawmaker, former governor and now 6th District Rep. Vilma Santos-Recto.
On Monday, Recto asked whether or not a lobby had been mounted against the erstwhile media giant because a number of her colleagues allegedly turned their backs on ABS-CBN at the last moment.
She also questioned the “rushed” report of the Technical Working Group (TWG) which raised several issues against the Lopez family as to why ABS-CBN did not deserve another 25-year franchise.
In Facebook posts, one Don Pangilinan said Abu must explain his vote, mirroring another netizen’s query whether the congressman consulted his constituents as to how they feel about the network.
Cecil Llamoso said Abu should have considered that ABS-CBN was among those who quickly came to the rescue of Batanguenos when the Taal Volcano erupted.
“It’s not good to remind people of past good deeds done, but we must also look back (so as not to be ingrates),” Llamoso said in Filipino.
Several news organizations have also taken to social media, including the defense, Senate and foreign correspondents press corps to seek the grant of a new franchise to ABS-CBN.
A lawyer has proposed the filing of a people’s initiative so a law may be passed granting ABS-CBN a franchise, a move which Rep. Recto said she supports.
A petition has also been signed by about 500 members of media in favor of ABS-CBN being allowed to continue operating through the grant of a franchise, claiming press freedom is central to the issue.
“Did they commission a survey because their votes rejecting the franchise application of ABS-CBN do not reflect the sentiment of the people,” Melvin of Mabini, Batangas said.