ABS-CBN News journalist is alarmed by the alleged freezing of franchise renewal bill

  • An article reported about the alleged “freezing” of ABS-CBN franchise bill by the House of Representatives
  • Mike Navallo, a journalist from ABS-CBN News, was alarmed about the said news
  • He aired his sentiments on social media about the network’s franchise bill being frozen

On Wednesday, June 12, news came out that the House of Representatives was allegedly “freezing” House Bill 4349, or the bill that would renew the franchise of ABS-CBN to maintain operations as a broadcast station for the next 25 years.

The Philippine Star ran this story with the headline “House freezes ABS-CBN franchise bill, firm takes movies to China market” which was authored by Jess Diaz.

Netizens were alarmed by this news since a non-renewal of the franchise would mean a network shutdown.

Mike Navallo, a reporter from ABS-CBN News, was one of the concerned employees of the network who reacted to the report.

He aired his sentiments about the “alarming” headline of The Philippine Star on his Twitter account on the same day the news came out.

“So how do you ‘freeze’ a bill?

“Headline is alarming. It suggests there’s a deliberate act on part of House to stop deliberating on bill when in reality, House did not act [on] it just like in many other cases. That means, bill will have to be refiled at start of next Congress in July,” Navallo said.

“If you’re one of 10,000 employees who have mouths to feed and you’re not aware of what really happened,e di nagpanic ka na.

“Konting sensitivity naman media friends. Tayo pa ba maghihilahan sa isa’t isa? If we can’t even put a united front, sana wala namang takutan,” he stated.

“Single source na nga, anonymous pa.

But if what source says is true, then I guess we have a reason to be alarmed: rubber stamp nga lang ba talaga ng Presidente ang House? That’s an admission right there,” Navallo added.

The said article was then edited by The Philippine Star. They also left a note at the bottom part to state that the headline of the article was slightly changed.

“Note: This article has been updated at 6:38 p.m. to include the word ‘bill’ in the headline upon request by The Philippine Star,” it said.

The House Bill 4349 seeking to renew the legislative franchise of radio-television network ABS-CBN Corp. had been pending since November 2016. It will expire in nine months on March 20, 2020.

The Committee on Legislative Franchise did not submit a report regarding the House Bill before the third and last regular session of the 17th Congress.

It means that the franchise renewal should be re-filed on July 22, 2019 in the 18th Congress.

Surigao del Sur Rep. Johnny Pimentel, who is a member of the House Committee on Legislative Franchises, said Congress has no intention of freezing any franchise application.

“What happened was that deliberations on the franchise were not completed until adjournment of the 17th Congress, so it has to be filed again in the 18th Congress,” he added.

However, President Rodrigo Duterte has said on many occasions that he will oppose the franchise renewal of ABS-CBN in Congress.

Duterte has slammed ABS-CBN for allegedly refusing to run his paid advertisement during the 2016 election campaign and showing instead an ad critical of him paid for by his staunch critic, Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV.

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ABS-CBN4584 ABS-CBN franchise renewal12 House Bill 43493 Johnny Pimentel2 Mike Navallo1 Rodrigo Duterte247 The Philippine Star6