2 Cebu City lawmakers say denial of ABS-CBN franchise ill-timed
CEBU CITY — Two Cebu City congressmen lamented the decision of their colleagues in the House of Representatives to deny the franchise application of ABS-CBN Corp.
Cebu City Rep. Raul del Mar of the north district and Rodrigo Abellanosa of the south district agreed that the decision of the House committee on legislative franchises was ill-timed.
“In this time of the pandemic when businesses are closing down, people are losing jobs and getting hungry, the economy is on the verge of collapse, the decision shutting down the ABS-CBN is very inhumane, absolutely out of sense and timing,” said Abellanosa in a statement.
He said that if he were a member of the committee, he would have voted in favor of the renewal.
“While government agencies such as SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) and BIR (Bureau of Internal Revenue) did not concur to the alleged wrongdoings of ABS-CBN, these are not well-established and should have been better left to the courts to resolve,” he added.
Del Mar, for his part, said denying the broadcast giant’s its franchise renewal was not a good time in the wake of a pandemic especially that it had been a major source of news and entertainment to many Filipinos here and abroad.
While he grieved the action by the House committee on franchises, Del Mar said it should be respected because due process “or the appearance of it”, was there.
“Yet I share the dismay of some of my colleagues who, not being members of the committee, were not able to take part in the public hearings of the committee. The debate and vote, which I helped push for, could’ve been more fully given and appreciated had it reached the plenary session,” he added.
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