The Simple Case of ABS-CBN

I am not really a fan of the Lawless Leader.  With all the animosity between President Duterte and the Media, it will be easy to add the ABS-CBN fiasco to one of his many sins.  But I will not.

ABS-CBN was granted a 25-year franchise in March, 1995, which President Fidel Ramos signed into law, a full 5 years before the expiry of its previous franchise.  This was a time shortly after the first EDSA revolution when the Philippines was on its way to claim back its economic and social place in Asia, when the government seemed to be working again after the Marcos dictatorship.

Fast forward 25 years, the country is embroiled in a constitutional crisis, with almost everyone blaming the Lawless Leader.  Perhaps there is some truth that the Solicitor General is being influenced and controlled, but right or wrong, the real threat to the country is democracy’s demise.

For whose responsibility is it to ensure that ABS-CBN’s franchise is renewed:  the Executive Branch (who upholds the law) or the Legislative Branch (who passes the law)?

Indeed a resolution was passed by Congress for an extension – but a resolution doesn’t have the teeth of the law.  One would wonder why it was even necessary to pass a resolution rather than pass the law itself.  Congress just delayed the inevitable.  Surely one cannot assume that it is because of corrupt motives, because as every Filipino know, corruption doesn’t exist in Congress.

This is a simple case:  there is no law allowing ABS-CBN to continue operations.

The country may have a corrupt or an incompetent leader (take your pick), but the blame is not his alone.  For the past 4 years, Congress has bowed to his whims, fearful of his wrath.

As the Legislative becomes weaker, the Executive becomes stronger.

I am amazed that the pulse of the masses seems to be negatively directed at the President alone, rather than the incompetence of the Legislators.

It may be an unpopular sentiment, but the solution is simple:  Congress MUST do its job.  Congress MUST deliver on its duty.  And Congress MUST stand up as a fearless equal to the executive and the judiciary.

Gone are the days of Salonga, Saguisag and Recto.  This is what Filipinos get for electing PBA’s (traditional Politicians, Basketbolista, o Artista):  a Circus of a Nation.

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