MANILA - The House of Representatives on Monday opened an exhibit at the Batasang Pambansa to honor late basketball superstar Kobe Bryant, just as the Senate tackled issues surrounding the franchise renewal of media giant ABS-CBN Corp, whose franchise bills the lower chamber has yet to tackle.
House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano led the opening of the exhibit on Feb. 24, in honor of Bryant's jersey numbers (24) and daughter Gianna's (2). They both died in a helicopter crash near Los Angeles on Jan. 26.
"Nung nalaman namin na very significant 'yung 2-24 for Kobe, and of course, his daughter and the Staples Center magkakaroon ng celebration of life, we thought na makapagbigay ng konting inspiration sa lahat ng kabataan," he told reporters in a press briefing.
(When we learned that the number 2-24 is significant for Kobe and his daughter and the Staples Center will hold a celebration of life, we thought of paying tribute to give inspiration to the youth.)
Cayetano, a basketball fan, said he hoped House members would be inspired by the exhibit.
"Si Kobe sinasabi niya, be the best version of yourself. So we're hoping this exhibit will also lead members of Congress to always try to be the best version of themselves," he said.
(Kobe said to be the best version of yourself. So we're hoping this exhibit will also lead members of Congress to always try to be the best version of themselves.)
The exhibit is also their way of communicating to the youth and Bryant's fans who were saddened by the basketball superstar's sudden demise, he said.
"Marami talagang masyadong naapektuhan na mga kabataan natin. We don't want to take that sadness for granted. So through a simple tribute and simply communicating to our young people that has always been in our hearts. Sana magbigay ito ng kaunting comfort sa kaniyang mga fans at mga taong na-touch niya 'yong buhay," Cayetano added.
(Many young people were affected by [Bryant's death.] We don't want to take that sadness for granted. So through a simple tribute and simply communicating to our young people that always been in our hearts. We hope this will give comfort to his fans and the people touched by Bryant.)
Several lawmakers earlier criticized the House of Representatives for leaving 11 bills for ABS-CBN's franchise renewal pending, with Cayetano saying there were more pressing matters.
As the network's franchise is set to expire on May 4, 2020, the Senate held a committee hearing on Monday to investigate ABS-CBN's compliance to its license.
Under the law, franchise bills are considered local issues that should first be resolved by the House before the Senate could vote on its passage.
Cayetano had said the Senate should have waited for the House to transmit its report on ABS-CBN's franchise before scheduling its own hearings.
He also said his chamber would tackle the measures in May or after the President's State of the Nation Address in July because it was not a priority. - With a report from RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News