Bayan warns provisional franchise may hold ABS-CBN in hostage | Inquirer News

Bayan warns provisional franchise may hold ABS-CBN in hostage

/ 07:15 PM May 13, 2020

MANILA, Philippines The possible approval of a bill granting a provisional franchise to ABS-CBN, which free television and radio broadcasts were shut down after its legislative franchise expired on May 4, might only hold the media network hostage.

This was the warning issued by the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) on Wednesday as the House of Representatives approved on second reading House Bill No. 6732, authored by Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, that would give the interim franchise to ABS-CBN until October 31, 2020.

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“Pero bakit hanggang Oktubre lang? Bakit ba hindi na lang ibigay nang buo ang prangkisa? Huwag naman sanang gamitin ito para rendhan ang ABS-CBN hanggang Oktubre,” Bayan secretary-general Renato Reyes said in a message to reporters.

(But why only until October?  Why do they find it hard to just grant the whole franchise?  We hope this will not be used to control ABS-CBN’s coverage until October.)

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“Sa mga sumusuporta sa isyu, malayo pa bago matapos ang laban  na ito. Buong prangkisa, ‘di lamang provisional na prangkisa, ang kailangan at ipinaglalaban ng mga empleyado ng ABS-CBN,” added Reyes, a vocal advocate of press freedom and supporter of ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal.

(To those supporting the issue, the fight is far from over. The whole franchise, not just a provisional franchise, is what employees of the network need and are fighting for.)

According to Reyes, Wednesday’s House approval on second reading of a provisional franchise for ABS-CBN is just a momentary victory for the media giant. And if President Rodrigo Duterte would stay true to his word that he would not interfere, Reyes said, the President should sign the bill into law.

“Kung maipapasa ang provisional franchise, pansamantalang tagumpay ito para sa ABS-CBN. Tiyak na papasa din naman ito sa Senado. Hindi naman ito dapat harangan ng Pangulo. Dapat lagdaan niya ito,” he noted.

(If the provisional franchise gets passed, it is a temporary victory for ABS-CBN. We think it would surely pass through the Senate. But the President should not block it, he should sign it.)

Cayetano’s bill came a week after ABS-CBN was forced to stop operating its broadcast programming due to the cease-and-desist order of the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC).

NTC issued the order on May 5, and ABS-CBN complied going off the air at 7:52 p.m. that day.

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President Rodrigo Duterte and his supporters have always accused ABS-CBN of biased coverage. Duterte has personally complained about ABS-CBN’s failure to air his campaign ads during the 2016 presidential elections. But this issue was already addressed by ABS-CBN during a Senate hearing in February.

KGA

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TAGS: ABS-CBN franchise, ABS-CBN free television, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, Bayan, CDO, cease and desist order, franchise validity, House of Representatives, National Telecommunications Commission, NTC, Philippine news updates, press freedom, radio broadcasts, Renato Reyes, Rodrigo Duterte, Solicitor General Jose Calida, Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano
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