House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano finally broke his silence three days after the closure of ABS-CBN because of an expired franchise, and vowed to go after the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) and Solicitor General Jose Calida.

In a statement posted on his Facebook page, Cayetano said the House banked on assurances by the NTC in March that it would allow ABS-CBN, the country’s largest media network, to operate beyond the expiry of its franchise on May 4.

Cayetano said the business of the House was overtaken by the Covid-19 pandemic and the need to pass emergency powers for the president.

“Last Tuesday we were all ambushed by the NTC.”

“Despite their assurance given under oath. Despite the legal opinion of the Department of Justice. Despite a resolution from the Senate, and several verbal and written assurances given to Congress — the NTC appears to have succumbed to pressure from the Solicitor General, and issued a cease and desist order to ABS-CBN,” he added.

Cayetano said the House Committee on Legislative Franchises would conduct hearings on ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal “in a manner that is consistent with what we have always said. That is – fair, impartial, thorough, and comprehensive.”

“As for the sudden flip-flopping of the NTC and the unconstitutional meddling by the Solicitor General in the business of Congress, I promise you — there will be a reckoning,” he said.

The NTC ordered ABS-CBN to go off the airwaves on May 5, a day after its franchise expired, following a threat from Solicitor General Calida that he would file graft charges against regulators if they gave ABS-CBN a temporary license.

In February, Cayetano took ABS-CBN to task for its supposed biased election coverage and urged it to do some “soul-searching.”

” Can anyone honestly say, after watching the coverage of the network during the 2010 and 2016 elections, that ABS-CBN did not take sides and favor any candidate? Or that personalities and politicians who through the years have had strong affinity with the station do not receive undue advantage during campaign season?” he asked.

“I did my own soul searching, and while I cannot imagine a Philippines without an ABS-CBN, I also cannot countenance a democracy where a private corporation like ABS-CBN is allowed to use the airwaves to influence our choices in the elections for their favored candidates,” he said.

“Let me just reiterate my earlier position that Congress is committed to hold fair hearings at the APPROPRIATE time. To put this into proper perspective, let me remind everyone that the ABS-CBN Franchise Bill was first filed in September 2014, during the 16th Congress under the Aquino administration.” (