‘If I had not been SolGen, I will make you eat your words,’ Calida tells Coco Martin
MANILA, Philippines — “If I had not been the Solicitor General, I would have called his bluff and make him eat his words.”
These were the words of Office of the Solicitor General chief Jose Calida during a joint committee hearing at the House of Representatives Monday, breaking weeks of silence following the public uproar over the shutdown of media giant ABS-CBN over its franchise issues.
Calida said that aside from the Ang Probinsyano actor, several of the network’s celebrities have spoken publicly against the government’s actions, using their influence to “muddle the issue and drum up support for their network.
He quoted the Kapamilya actor as saying, “Kapag ang pamilya ko kinanti, kahit sino ka pa, lalaban ako ng patayan sa iyo kahit patayin mo pa ako.”
“Maraming maraming salamat Solicitor General Jose Calida at sa bumubuo ng National Telecommunications Commission sa kontribusyon niyo sa ating bayan! Tinatarantado ninyo ang mga Pilipinas!” Calida further quoted Martin as saying.
Calida, largely blamed by supporters of ABS-CBN for the closure of the biggest broadcast network in the country, said the actor’s outburst showed a “clear lack of understanding” of the franchise issue.
“It appears that he feels he can solve the problems the same way as he solves them on screen, with macho bluster and bravado,” he said.
The Solicitor General insisted that the granting of the franchise is not a “right that can be exercised at will and pleasure” but a “privilege subject to regulation.”
Calida, after being invited to the hearing, attended the House’s deliberations on the franchise renewal of ABS-CBN.
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