Pinalagan ni Deputy Speaker Rodante Marcoleta ang mga kritiko sa pag-deny sa prangkisa ng ABS-CBN at sinabing tingnan ang mga ebidensya ng paglabag ng network.
“Which caused the curtailment of their media freedom? The House of Representatives? Obviously not. Ironically, the Human Rights Watch can’t even dare to watch the avalanche of evidence established on how ABS-CBN abused its franchise, a rare privilege granted by the state!” ani Marcoleta sa isang panayam.
“Invoking press freedom is a convenient subterfuge to further mislead the people,” dagdag pa nito.
Maaalalang naunang idinaing ng Human Rights Watch (HRW) ang majority vote ng House committee na isa itong sipa sa Philippine press freedom.
“Not since the dictator Ferdinand Marcos shut down ABS-CBN and other media outlets in 1972 has a single government act caused so much damage to media freedom,” paliwanag ni Deputy Director of Human Rights Watch’s Asia Division Phil Robertson.
“This move solidifies the tyranny of President Rodrigo Duterte who accused ABS-CBN of slights against him and politically targeted it for refusing to toe the government’s line and criticizing his so-called ‘war on drugs,’” dagdag pa ni Robertson.
Tinugunan naman ito ni Marcoleta at sinabing “HRW is slowly losing its relevance, if not its credibility!”
Si Marcoleta ay isa sa dalawang mambabatas na gumisa sa isyu at findings ng 12 pagdinig ng House Committees on Legislative Franchises and on Good Government and Public Accountability sa ABS-CBN franchise issue.