Solon withdraws support for ABS-CBN franchise renewal
MANILA, Philippines — A lawmaker has withdrawn his support for the renewal of franchise of media giant ABS-CBN as the House of Representatives sums up deliberations on the issue on Thursday.
Abang Lingkod party-list Rep. Joseph Stephen Paduano on Thursday said he withdrew his co-authorship on House Bill No. 3173, which seeks to renew the ABS-CBN’s franchise for another 25 years.
Paduano made the revelation, saying the 12 hearings tackling various issues lodged against ABS-CBN became an “eye-opener” not only to lawmakers like him, but also to the general public.
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 tackled in the hearings.
“Though it is hard for me, I came to the conclusion that I am withdrawing my co-authorship of House Bill 3713 that aims to grant the renewal of the franchise of ABS-CBN,” Paduano said during the hearing.
“I wish to ask for apology and understanding of my colleague Rep. Joy Tambunting, the principal author of the said House Bill and to ABS-CBN president Carlo Katigbak and to the ABS CBN family,” he added.
The House panels on legislative franchises and good government and public accountability will end hearings on the ABS-CBN franchise on Thursday.
Bayan Muna Rep. Carlo Zarate said members of the legislative franchises panel is set to vote on bills seeking for the network’s franchise renewal but chairman Franz Alvarez said a final date for the voting has yet to be set.
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