Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque said in a statement on May 8 that the Palace agrees with the view of the US State Department that an independent media is vital to democratic societies like the Philippines.
“This stance has never wavered on the part of the President and his Administration,” Roque said.
“The Philippines, we assure our foreign friends and allies, continues to have a free and robust press where the critics and the political opposition remain vocal in their aversion to the current government,” he added.
The presidential spokesperson noted that the issue of the granting of franchise is an independent prerogative of the legislative branch of the government, which – like the United States system – is separate and independent from the Executive branch.
“We therefore ask those who clamor for the continued operations of the network, whose broadcast franchise had lapsed, to lobby before their representatives in the august halls of Congress and make their voices be heard,” he added.
“As we have said in previous occasions, the President is neutral on the issue and he will leave the matter to the wisdom of our honorable ladies and gentlemen of both chambers of Congress,” Roque said.