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Atienza: ABS-CBN will be back on air

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Deputy Speaker Lito Atienza said ABS-CBN is assured it would get a “fair and just trial” for its franchise application now that the House of Representatives is under the new leadership.

“Why? [It’s] because Speaker Velasco is not like the other [House] Speaker before. The other speaker had a special interest of the issue. He was pretending to be impartial when it was actually him who was orchestrating everything,” Atienza said Wednesday.

With Velasco, he added, mistakes committed by the House last year will be corrected.

“Under the new leadership, government agencies which disproved the allegations against ABS-CBN will be given a chance to defend the network,” Atienza claimed.

The House committee on legislative franchises held its first hearing on the measures seeking for the renewal of the franchise of the media giant last 10 March 2020 under then-Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano until the panel rejected its application four months after, with 70 votes against 11.

Atienza believed Cayetano had personal issues against ABS-CBN which may have emboldened his allies to also use their respective personal issues against the network.

The congressman also recalled lawmakers like him who were in favor of the network’s franchise renewal did not had “enough chance to fully express” their sentiments.

Only those who opposed the network’s franchise renewal had the chance to talk and air their personal grudges during House hearings, he noted.

But when it comes to Velasco, Atienza believes that the Marinduque congressman will not uphold any interests but only of the public.

“From my perspective, there’s a really good chance that ABS-CBN will be back on air,” he added.

Atienza plans to move for the reconsideration of the denial of ABS-CBN’s franchise application, saying, this would be quicker compared to filing of fresh bill for its renewal.

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