Palace: Duterte not inclined to veto ABS-CBN franchise renewal bill
MANILA, Philippines— President Rodrigo Duterte is not inclined to veto ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal bill once it arrives on his desk if it has no constitutional infirmity, Malacañang said Thursday.
“Unless there is any Constitutional infirmity, I don’t think the President is inclined to veto it,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in an online press briefing.
Roque added that the President had already done all that he could by maintaining neutrality and asking his allies in Congress to vote with their conscience on ABS-CBN’s impending franchise renewal.
“Ginawa na po ni Presidente ang kaya niyang magagawa. Sinabihan na po niya ang kanyang mga alyado na neutral po siya dyan sa issue ng ABS-CBN,” Roque said.
(The President already did all that he could do. He told his allies that he is neutral in ABS-CBN’s issue.
“Wala na pong ibang magagawa ang President kundi sabihin nga sa kanyang mga kaalyado sa Kongreso, bumoto kayo nang naaayon sa inyong konsiyensya,” he further said.
(The President could no longer do anything more but tell his allies in Congress to vote as their conscience dictates.)
ABS-CBN went off the air Tuesday night in compliance with the National Telecommunications Commission’s (NTC) order to stop its broadcast operations after its legislative franchise expired on May 4.
It will be a form of graft if the President intervenes with the NTC’s order to stop ABS-CBN’s broadcast, Roque added.
“Kung ang Presidente po ay manghihimasok, it is a form of graft po because hindi po pupuwedeng iniimpluwensyahan ng kahit sino man ang mga quasi-judicial at judicial bodies,” he explained.
(If the President intervenes, it is a form of graft because quasi-judicial and judicial bodies should never be influenced by anybody.)
Prior to NTC’s issuance of a cease-and-desist order, Solicitor General Jose Calida warned the NTC against granting a provisional authority to let ABS-CBN operate while its franchise renewal was pending in Congress.
But according to Roque, Calida did not “influence” the NTC in issuing the said order.
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