Sotto questions House bid on 5-month ABS-CBN provisional franchise
On Wednesday, the lower chamber of Congress passed on second reading a bill granting a provisional franchise to ABS-CBN valid until the end of October 2020.
“Bakit yung franchise na ina-approve ng House e five months? Ngayon lang ako nakarinig ng five months na franchise. Twenty-five years kung 25 years. Bakit five months?” Sotto said in an interview on TeleRadyo on Thursday.
On May 5, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) issued a cease-and-desist order directing ABS-CBN to shut down its television and radio broadcast operations nationwide.
ABS-CBN’s franchise expired on May 4 after bills seeking its renewal languished in the House of Representatives.
Should ABS-CBN’s provisional franchise be approved, the network would be allowed to go back on air in June while Congress deliberates on whether or not to renew for another 25 years its actual franchise.
Sotto said hearings on ABS-CBN’s provisional franchise can start next week.
“Kung hindi maaabala yung committee of the whole namin ng Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, any of those three days, pwede nang pagusapan on second reading. Yun ang nakikita ko…The week of (May) 25th, pwedeng i-second reading or the latest is the third reading on that week. Ganun ang pinakamagandang pwedeng mangyari,” he added.
Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri earlier said that the chamber may pass ABS-CBN’s provisional franchise before Congress goes on break on June 3.
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