Poe to solons: If ABS-CBN franchise deemed extended, put it in writing or declare it
MANILA, Philippines — If indeed ABS-CBN may still continue to operate until 2022, it would be better if lawmakers would confirm it by putting it to writing, or at least declare it verbally, Senator Grace Poe said Sunday.
“Kahit sabihin pa nila na pwede naman ‘yan i-extend hanggang 2022, maganda siguro kung in writing o kaya at least verbally sabihin ng Kongreso, ‘We commit to give ABS-CBN through the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) a temporary permit to operate’ kasi hindi naman ‘yan nakasulat sa batas,” Poe said in a statement.
(Even if we say that it can be extended until 2022, it would be better if it was put in writing or at least Congress says it verbally “We declare to give ABS-CBN through the National Telecommunications Commission a temporary permit to operate” because that is not written in the law.)
“Yan ay kortesiya lamang na ibinibigay ng Kongreso at NTC (That is a courtesy only given by Congress and the NTC),” she added.
Poe further stated that the possibility of the broadcast giant being shut down was “not a joke” as it would affect 11,000 of its employees.
Previously, Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III said that ABS-CBN may still continue to operate until March 2022 as long as there is a pending bill extending or renewing its franchise.
Poe, chair of the Senate public works committee, earlier filed a resolution that that seeks to look into “the operations of ABS-CBN Corporation to determine compliance with the terms and conditions of its franchise under Republic Act No. 7966.”
READ: Poe: Probe ABS-CBN
But fellow Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson said that an inquiry to look into ABS-CBN’s franchise may violate the sub judice rule, since the Supreme Court already asked the network to comment on the quo warranto petition filed by the Office of the Solicitor General.
The sub judice rule restricts comments and disclosures pertaining to judicial proceedings to avoid prejudging the issue, influencing the court, or obstructing the administration of justice, according to the Supreme Court in the April 2009 case of Romero vs. Estrada.
Still, Poe said that the Senate inquiry would only look into the alleged violations of the network.
“Walang perpekto. Ako ang isip ko diyan ay bukas dahil maraming nag-a-apply ng prangkisa, wala namang perpekto,” she said.
(Nothing is perfect. I’m openminded with this because everyone is applying for a franchise, no one is perfect.)
“Walang duda na may serbisyong ibinibigay ang network ng ABS-CBN pero ito timbangin natin—ang serbisyo ba na ibinibigay ng ABS-CBN ay akma o kayang isantabi ang mga kakulangan nito,” she added.
(There’s no doubt with the service of ABS-CBN, but let’s weigh the facts — are its services fit or can we said put aside its lapses?)
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