‘We need to know the truth,’ Poe says as Senate hearing on ABS-CBN franchise begins
MANILA, Philippines — “We need to know the truth and we need the public to hear it.”
Senator Grace Poe said this as she opened the public services committee’s hearing on the franchise renewal of ABS-CBN and six other broadcast firms.
“Without encroaching on the existing quo warranto petition filed in the Supreme Court and the separate proceedings in the House, this hearing will seek to discuss two Senate resolutions,” Poe said in her opening statement.
She was referring to the resolution she earlier filed calling for an investigation on the compliance of ABS-CBN with the terms and condition of its franchise as well as the resolution filed by Senate Minority leader Franklin Drilon on the proposed extension of the network’s franchise until 2022 to give both houses of Congress additional time to review the application for renewal.
“Binibigyang diin natin na ang pagdinig na ito ay parte ng kapangyarihan ng Senado batay na rin sa nakasaad sa ating Konstitutsyon na hindi naman taliwas sa mga naging desisyon ng Korte Suprema patungkol sa hurisdiksyon sa pagdinig ng mga prangkisa at sabayang pagtalakay ng mga issue,” Poe stressed.
“Bagama’t mas madalas nagmumula ang mga franchise bills sa Kongreso or sa House, hindi na rin bago na magkaroon ng sabayang pagdinig para sa mabilisang lehislasyon lalu na ang mga prayoridad ng presidente tulad ng budget at TRAIN law,” she added.
Poe said that while there had been efforts to block the said hearing, with some even questioning it, she said the Senate is firm on its oversight functions.
“Maraming gustong pumigil sa pagdinig na ito o kinukwestyon ang pagdinig na ito, pero naninindigan ang Senado sa kapangyarihan nito bilang kapantay na sangay ng gobyerno sa isang republika at demokrasya. Kailangan nating panatilihan ang balance at separation of powers,” she said.
“We need to know the truth and we need the public to hear it. Kailangan malaman natin ang katotohanan para magabayan ang Senado kung ano ang maga kailangan natin baguhin sa mga batas na ipinasa nito,” she added.
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