Lagman: Duterte ‘softening’ on ABS-CBN franchise renewal

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Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman on Thursday said Sen. Bong Go’s statement urging the House of Representatives to begin hearing the renewal of ABS-CBN’s franchise seems to have the blessing of President Rodrigo Duterte.

Lagman said this “apparent softening” of the President’s opposition to the renewal of ABS-CBN’s franchise would quash the “smoldering indignation against the Duterte administration for violating the freedom of the press and free expression.”

He said Go’s statement was a sign that Duterte was softening on the issue considering that the senator is a “very close confidante of the President.”

“The imminent closure of the giant network has galvanized multi-sectoral support for the renewal of its franchise,” Lagman said.

“It is high time that the Duterte administration defuses a possible nationwide protest that can have adverse consequences,” he added.