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House’s move to give ABS-CBN chance to be heard –Poe

By Vanne Elaine Terrazola

The House of Representatives’ move to give ABS-CBN a provisional franchise would give the network the chance to settle the issues hounding its franchise renewal, Senator Grace Poe said.

Senator Grace Poe (Senator Grace Poe's Official Facebook Page / MANILA BULLETIN)

Senator Grace Poe (Senator Grace Poe’s Official Facebook Page / MANILA BULLETIN)

Congressmen, on Wednesday, approved on second reading a bill that would grant ABS-CBN a temporary legislative franchise allowing its operations until October 31, 2020.

“The exercise of this congressional mandate will pave the way for ABS-CBN to throw light upon its case,” Poe, chair of the Senate committee on public services, said in a statement issued Wednesday night.

“ABS-CBN has to prove itself worthy of a franchise extension, but to do this, it should be given the opportunity to air its side—the same chance the other interested parties equally deserve,” she added.

Poe said it would be an “injustice” should ABS-CBN, as well as its oppositors, be deprived of the chance to air their sides.

House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano said the provisional franchise will give Congress enough time to deliberate on the alleged violations of ABS-CBN.

He maintained that measures addressing the COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts should be prioritized over ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal.

The House of Representatives has been dragging its feet on the franchise renewal of ABS-CBN because President Duterte, on several occasions, had publicly declare that he will veto it. The network’s 1995 franchise expired on May 4, prompting the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to shut down the company a day later.

The Lower Chamber is expected to approve the grant of the provisional ABS-CBN franchise on final reading next week.

Poe, who earlier decided to inhibit from the Senate’s proceedings about ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal, urged her colleagues in the Senate to “give utmost urgency and importance to this bill in the interest of equity.”


Source: Manila Bulletin (https://news.mb.com.ph/2020/05/14/houses-move-to-give-abs-cbn-chance-to-be-heard-poe/)

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