'Silent majority' in House favors ABS-CBN franchise renewal – Atienza

MANILA, Philippines – Buhay party list representative Lito Atienza claimed that a "silent majority" in the House of Representatives is actually in favor of renewing the franchise of broadcast network ABS-CBN.

In a statement on Sunday, March 1, Atienza said that many in this "silent majority" are not publicly vocal about their support and are "unwilling to speak out because they fear reprisals from the House leadership." 

Atienza also dismissed "short-term remedies" to allow ABS-CBN to operate provisionally, and argued that a "permanent cure" – voting on the House bill to renew the network's franchise – is "already on the table."

"All that the House has to do now is put the bill... to a vote at the committee level, and then on the floor," he added. (READ: What's taking Congress so long to tackle ABS-CBN's franchise?)

He then argued that once Congress approves ABS-CBN's franchise renewal, President Rodrigo Duterte "will just allow the measure to lapse into law without his signature," citing similar instances in previous years.

ABS-CBN's 25-year franchise is set to expire on May 4, 2020. Besides the hurdle it is facing in Congress, ABS-CBN also faces a challenge at the Supreme Court due to the quo warranto petition filed by the Solicitor General seeking to cancel their franchise altogether. – Rappler.com