LIVESTREAM: ABS-CBN franchise renewal House hearing

MANILA, Philippines – The House hearing on ABS-CBN's franchise renewal is set on Monday morning, June 1, to discuss the details of the network's alleged violations as presented by Deputy Speaker Rodante Marcoleta.

ABS-CBN franchise renewal House hearing
Photo courtesy of ABS-CBN.

According to Committe Affairs Department of the House of Representatives, the hearing which will start at 9:00 am will be livestreamed on the official Facebook pages of the Congress and of Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano.

House of Representatives to hear ABS-CBN franchise bills (1 June 2020)
Posted by ABS-CBN News on Sunday, May 31, 2020

In the previous session, a position paper read by Marcoleta, urges the Congress not to approve the application of the Kapamilya Network for a fresh 25-year franchise, citing violations on 50-year franchise limit, tax system and labor laws, alleged foreign ownership, being 'bias' and the issue on set-top-box TV Plus, among others.

Note that ABS-CBN franchise authors Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez and Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate recently said Marcoleta misinterpreted the 50-year franchise limit.

Section 11, Article 12 of the 1987 Constitution states: “No franchise, certificate, or any other form of authorization for the operation of a public utility shall be granted except to citizens of the Philippines... for a longer period than fifty years."

“It is not cumulative. Congress can give 50 years in one instance and it can be extended for another 50 years and so on. However, the practice is to give 25 years every instance or issuance. The Constitution is very clear," Rodriguez said.

Meanwhile, Solicitor General Jose Calida is expected to attend the Monday hearing "to allow him to speak on ABS-CBN's franchise issue", Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano expressed.

Calida declined invitation in the previous session explaining that the sub judice rule prevented him from "sharing views and recommendations" on the franchise.

ABS-CBN was forced to stop its broadcast operations on May 5 after the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) went back on its commitment to allow ABS-CBN to operate beyond its lapsed franchise.

— The Summit Express

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