“As the committee members have voted to deny the franchise application, the House leadership asks that the people read the findings carefully in order to appreciate the reasons for their decision. And for those who do not agree, at the least, understand why the the decision had to be so,” Cayetano said in a Facebook post.
The Taguig City-Pateros 1st District congressman said the committee members gave “serious consideration” to all the merits of ABS-CBN’s franchise before putting it to a vote.
A whopping 70 legislators thumbed down ABS-CBN’s franchise and only 11 voted in favor of the network.
“I pray that despite our differences, we will eventually come to respect the decision of the committee and its members, and begin to move forward in rebuilding the relationships that have been strained by this issue,” Cayetano said.
The Speaker previously told legislators he would not be imposing on them how to vote on ABS-CBN’s franchise as he called for a “conscience vote” on the matter.
Yet on the day closing arguments were delivered on Thursday, July 9, Cayetano said ABS-CBN’s franchise is not an issue of press freedom but that of a big business using a media company to protect its interests.
The House rules state a lawmaker can appeal the committee’s decision against ABS-CBN, but he or she must be among the majority votes – meaning the 70 legislators who rejected the media giant’s franchise application.