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Summation of discussions on ABS-CBN franchise all set

/ 10:58 AM July 09, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Lawmakers in the House of Representatives are set to sum up on Thursday the discussions on several issues hounding the franchise renewal bid of media giant ABS-CBN.

This, after the House committees on legislative franchise and the committee on good government and public accountability, held 12 hearings where various issues lodged against ABS-CBN such as the citizenship of the network’s chair emeritus Gabby Lopez, the Lopez family’s reclaiming of the company after the EDSA Revolution, the network’s involvement in alleged labor violations as well as tax-related issues, and their alleged political bias, among others, were discussed.

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According to the website of the House of Representatives, the summation of issues discussed in relation to the granting of the franchise to ABS-CBN will begin at 1 p.m. and convene under a hybrid set-up, with some of the lawmakers physically present in the House while the others in attendance through videoconferencing.

Cagayan de Oro 2nd District Rep. Rufus Rodriguez said Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate will give the summation for the side of the authors of the bills seeking to grant ABS-CBN a 25-year franchise.

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Palawan 1st District Rep. Franz Alvarez, who chairs the committee on the legislative franchise, said the discussions on the ABS-CBN franchise have to be summarized first before lawmakers could vote.

During the Kapihan ng Samahang Plaridel media forum on Thursday morning, Zarate said the voting for the franchise may happen on Friday, July 10. But in a text message to INQUIRER.net, Alvarez said a final date for the voting has yet to be set.

While the hearings were jointly conducted by the two House panels, only the 46 members of the legislative franchise committee, as well as the 44 House officials who are considered ex officio members, will be able to vote.

If the lawmakers’ vote will be for the franchise renewal, ABS-CBN’s application will be up for discussion in the plenary. 

House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano has urged lawmakers to vote on conscience on ABS-CBN’s franchise, saying that those who are for the renewal of the network’s franchise should “open their minds” to the side of the opposition and vice versa.

/MUF

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TAGS: ABS-CBN, ABS-CBN franchise, ABS-CBN shutdown
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