House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano is at fault over the National Telecommunications Commission order to shut down media giant, ABS-CBN that is according to Buhay Partylist Rep. Lito Atienza Jr.

In an interview over at the ABS-CBN News Channel (ANC), Atienza apologized to host Karen Davila for the “failure of Congress to do its job” to tackle the renewal of ABS-CBN’s legislative franchise that remains pending in the House of Representatives as of this date. 

“I would like to apologize for the failure of Congress to do its job. Kasalanan namin ito e. Kasalanan ng Kongreso ito. But more importantly, I would like to say squarely, kasalanan ni Speaker Cayetano ito,” Atienza said.

“Pagkukulang niya ito sa bayan, he will have a lot to explain one day. It may not be today but later on this issue will hound him because he’s the one who did not do his job,” he added. 

Despite President Rodrigo Duterte’s statement for the House of Representatives to do its job on ABS-CBN’s pending franchise renewal, Cayetano did not act on the 11 bills supporting the network’s franchise renewal.

“Even if the President kept on reminding him (Cayetano), ‘do your job, magtrabaho na kayo, aksyunan niyo yan.’  What did he do? Nothing,” Atienza said.

“At this point in time, affected ang libu-libong tao. Affected ang buong bansa sa gitna ng ating pandemic problem. Nawalan pa ng libreng entertainment ang milyun-milyong Pilipino,” Atienza said. 

“Sinu-sino ang may pagkukulang dito? NTC? Hindi po. NTC is just mainly functioning and doing its job. Malacañang? Wala pong kasalanan ang Malacanang dito. Ang kapangyarihan, ang responsibilidad, ang aksyong mga prangkisa ay Kongreso,” he stressed.

The lawmaker also does not agree that NTC should be punished over their closure order, stating that Congress is at fault and should face the consequences.

“Bakit ang NTC ang ating paparusahan? Parusahan natin ang sarili natin,” he added.

Meanwhile, Solicitor General Jose Calida, who earlier filed a quo warranto petition at the Supreme Court seeking to nullify ABS-CBN’s franchise, also pinned the blamed on Congress for failing to renew the broadcast giant’s franchise.

“The bill renewing ABS-CBN’s franchise has been pending in Congress since 2016. The question we should be asking is, why hasn’t Congress acted on it? Who is at fault here?” Calida said.

“Without a valid and subsisting franchise from Congress, the NTC cannot allow any broadcasting entity from operating in the country,” the solicitor general added.

In December 2019, President Rodrigo Duterte threatened the network, saying that he will not sign any bill renewing their franchise. (RJ Espartinez)