(July 6, 2020) – A lawmaker on Monday sought the help of the National Bureau of Investigation to probe those behind alleged “organized attacks” against him on social media.
Cavite Rep. Jesus “Boying” Remulla, a senior deputy majority leader, recently drew criticism after he was caught taking down notes while the National Anthem was being played at the congressional inquiry into ABS-CBN’s legislative franchise.
The lawmaker has since apologized for the incident, but blamed people from the embattled broadcast giant as propagators of the video on social media.
“I have gone to the NBI to complain about the cyberbullying being done to my person and to other members of the House,” Remulla told fellow lawmakers and ABS-CBN officials present in the hearing.
He has also claimed that internet trolls are being employed “to get to our organization.”
Today’s congressional inquiry on ABS-CBN tackles the alleged political bias of the network in its 2016 election coverage, which Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano himself described as unfair.
Cayetano ran as vice president to then Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, only to lose to Leni Robredo, who was then a district representative of Camarines Sur.
Media groups have decried the network’s shutdown which had put 11,000 jobs in peril as an attack on press freedom in the country, especially since threats of closure had first come from Duterte himself.
Appearing before lawmakers, ABS-CBN’s news chief Maria Regina Reyes said that while no news organization is perfect, they have strived to work in an “accurate, fair, and balanced manner.”
“Tulad ng ilang bahagi ng aming kumpanya, hindi kami perpekto,” she said. “Wala pong news organization na perpekto. Sa kabila ng mga pag-iingat at pagbabantay ay inaamin po naming nagkakamali rin po kami.”
The House is expected to wrap up its hearings on the broadcast giant’s franchise renewal and put a vote this week.
ABS-CBN has been off the air since May 5, only the second time for the broadcast giant to have been shutdown after the Marcos dictatorship took over the network during the Martial Law years.
Its President and CEO, Carlo Katigbak, has pegged the network’s losses to about 135 million pesos a day, and has admitted that retrenchment may come by August if they are not allowed to resume operations. (Christian de Lano Deiparine/AGD)
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