Franchises of CBCP and TV5 extended for another 25 years

  • Franchises of CBCP and TV5 lapsed into law on April 22
  • That means the the bills seeking the extension of the two stations for 25 years have been approved
  • President Rodrigo Duterte has threatened to block ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal

The bills renewing the franchises of Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) and broadcast network TV5 lapsed into law on April 22, according to a document released by Malacañang on July 18, Thursday.

It means that Republic Act No. 11319 became a law and extended the CBCP’s franchise for another 25 years, and the same goes for Republic Act No.11320 which renewed the franchise of TV5 for 25 years.

The laws lacked President Rodrigo Duterte’s signature and bore stamps stating that they had lapsed into law on April 22.

A bill may become a law, even without the President’s signature, if the President does not sign it within thirty days from receipt in Malacañang. A bill is said to have lapsed into law if the President fails to act on it within 30 days after receiving the bill.

“Ibig sabihin kung pina-lapse niya…okay sa kanya. That means, effectively parang pinirmahan niya rin iyon” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador S. Panelo said during a briefing on Thursday.

Both TV5 Network and CBCP are allowed to continue to “construct, install, operate, and maintain radio and television broadcasting stations in the Philippines.”

TV5 Network primarily broadcasts sports and news programs, through ESPN and News5. The CBCP, for its part, operates radio stations across the country through its Catholic Media Network arm.

However, Panelo wondered why President Rodrigo Duterte did not sign the bill instead.

He said that Duterte probably did not object to TV5’s franchise renewal, hence he allowed it to lapse into law.

Meanwhile, the CBCP is led by Duterte’s friend, Davao Archbishop Romulo Valles even if it includes among its officers the priests who have been highly critical of the President. This includes Caloocan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David, who himself has been a subject of Duterte’s rants and threats.

President Duterte has threatened to block ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal which will expire in March 2020.

He 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 by his staunch critic, Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV.

But Panelo said that ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporations franchise renewal is now up to the current Congress.

“But ABS-CBN ang expiration next year pa eh, tsaka Congress naman. Nasa Kongreso ang bola niyan, hindi naman kay Presidente,” he said.

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