Roque on House denial of ABS-CBN franchise: Palace maintained neutral stance

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang Palace on Friday accepted the decision of the House of Representatives legislative franchises committee to reject the 25-year franchise application of the country's biggest media network ABS-CBN Corp.

Roque on House denial of ABS-CBN franchise: Palace maintained neutral stance

“Much as we want to work with the aforesaid media network, we have to abide by the resolution of the House committee,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in a statement.

Roque emphasized that the decision is a "sole prerogative of Congress that we in the Executive recognize.”

He said the Palace remains neutral on ABS-CBN franchise issue.

"The Palace has maintained a neutral stance on the issue as it respects the separation of powers between the two co-equal branches of the government," Roque reiterated.

ABS-CBN reported the company had been losing P30 million to P35 million in daily revenues following a cease-and-desist order from the National Telecommunications Commission over an expired franchise last May 5 or over 2 months ago.

In the past, the NTC allowed other media networks to remain on the air while applying for a new one in Congress.

ABS-CBN's push for a new franchise was further complicated by relentless attacks from President Rodrigo Duterte, who, in December 2019, declared that he would "see to it that you're out."

After the Kapamilya Network's apology on airing negative political ad in the 2016 elections, Duterte appeared to have softened his position on ABS-CBN's franchise bid and the Malacañang later said that he would be "neutral" on this matter.

— The Summit Express

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