The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines is pushing back the re-election bid of members of the House of Representatives who voted to kill the franchise of media giant ABS-CBN. It targeted this week two Palawan congressional representatives–Reps. Gil Acosta, Jr. and Beng Abueg, who are both seeking re-election.
“This election, never forget those who voted against the renewal of the ABS-CBN franchise. Two of them, Beng Abueg and Gil Acosta, are running for representatives of Palawan,” the NUJP social media post stated.
At Palawan News’ Magkaalaman Na 2022 Candidates’ Forum on April 2, Rep. Acosta defended his vote on the matter when it was subject to plenary voting. He said his decision was a “moral” issue.
“It was a personal decision at the time. Number one, as to the issue of ABS-CBN, certainly there were debates on whether or not there was violation in relation to the paying of taxes. But for me, the thing that cajoled me to vote no for the introduction of the extension of the legislative franchise of the ABS-CBN is that it’s a moral issue,” Acosta said.
Acosta added, however, he “will definitely consider re-thinking” and “take a second look” at his earlier decision, based on how ABS-CBN will defend its position if it re-applies in the next Congress.
“Certainly they were saying there was no law that was violated in terms of taxation.” That might be true, but the problem is [that] it’s tax evasion versus tax avoidance. In relation to tax avoidance, baka meron siya doon. But definitely I will take a second look, it depends on how ABS-CBN defends itself if and when if I will also be voted on the same committee. I hope so,” Acosta added.
Abueg, on the other hand, has yet to respond to a request for comment from Palawan News.