- Malacanang said ABS-CBN franchise renewal is up to Congress.
- ABS-CBN’s license is set to expire in March 2020.
Presidential Spokeman Salvador Panelo said ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporations franchise renewal is now up to the current Congress.
This latest information was first released by iTradePH via their Tweet on Thursday, July 18.
Renewal of ABS-CBN’s franchise to operate and maintain TV and radio broadcasting stations is now up to Congress says Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo
Note : set to end in March 2020
— D.A. Market Securities (@itradeph) July 18, 2019
In the tweet, it claimed that the Presidential spokesman said that the controversial franchise renewal of the Kapamilya network is now in the hands of the 18th Congress.
Further research revealed that Panelo’s statement was made during a media briefing, Thursday, July 18.
He was asked to comment on the ABS-CBN issue following the renewal of TV5 and CBCP’s franchise after it lapsed into law.
“But ABS-CBN ang expiration next year pa eh, tsaka Congress naman. Nasa Kongreso ang bola niyan, hindi naman kay Presidente,” he said.
ABS-CBN’s license to operate is set to expire in March 2020.
Their franchise renewal has been stalled for several years following President Rodrigo Duterte’s pronouncements that he will do everything to block its franchise renewal.
Duterte has accused the giant media company of being biased in their reporting against him and the government. He also accused its owners of estafa because he claimed that the network failed to air his political ads during the 2016 election campaign.
Just recently, a news report by the Philippine Star claimed that Congress has frozen the bill aiming to renew ABS-CBN’s franchise.
In the report, an anonymous Congressman said ABS-CBN’s franchise bill will be enacted if the media company will resolve its issue with the President.
“They have to thresh out and resolve their issues with the President. That’s the key to get the bill moving,” said the unnamed lawmaker.
But the report was slammed by former Kabataan Partylist Congressman Terry Ridon, saying there was no such thing as freezing of bill in Congress.
Ridon explained that the bill was simply not acted upon and got caught with the adjournment of the 17th Congress.
“In simple terms, Congress simply did not act on the franchise renewal bill during the 17th Congress, especially with only a few weeks to go until the present term of office ends,” Ridon said.
Meanwhile, newly re-elected Senator Bong Revilla also sees no problem with the franchise renewal.
“Well, una magsisimula naman yan sa lower house. Pagkatapos yan sa lower house, sasampa yan sa upper house, sa Senate. So, sa akin, wala naman akong nakikitang problema. I just hope na maging maayos ang lahat ng bagay.”