- House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano admitted that he has ‘personal objections’ to ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal
- He implied that ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal to operate for another 25 years license is not prioritized as of now
- ABS-CBN’s franchise is set to expire in March 2020
House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano admitted that he has ‘personal objections’ to ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal though he promised that the House of Representatives will give a “fair” treatment for the application of the legislative franchise extension of the network.
The network’s license to operate for 25 years is set to expire in March 2020, but as of now,t he former senator implied that it is not considered priority legislation.
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“People like me, I also have some objections [about the extension]. I’ll tell you, this is my personal [opinion], okay?” he said in an interview with ANC.
“On one hand I feel that we have to protect the freedom of the press and freedom of expression; on the other hand I feel that there’s certain instances in history, and in the 2016 election, that some sectors or leaders of ABS interfered unjustly,” he said.
“So how do you sort it out? Like right now, we can debate that, and of course, you will stand up for the network but I’d rather have it in a hearing, straight talk, face to face, and talk about it,” he told host Karen Davila.
But Cayetano assured the public, “We will find a conclusion that is acceptable to everyone but will be good for the country.”
“First and foremost, telling it straight, we will be fair. It’s our duty to be fair,” he said. “When we will take it up, [as] I’ve already stated in public and to the chairman, we will finish our priority bills so we can focus on that,” he added.
Cayetano also said that holding a hearing about some of the issues of the Kapamilya network is one way to show fairness and to let the public know “who’s right or who’s wrong.”
“And I’m not referring to the President because didn’t the President say he will file an objection? So that’s between ABS-CBN and the President, because I’m sure the President has legitimate criticisms,” Cayetano said.
Currently for a media network to renew its franchise, both houses of Congress should pass a law that will extend its license to operate for another 25 years. Then it will have to be signed by the President or it can automatically lapse into law if the President fails to sign and does not veto it.
Representative Micaela Violago (Nueva Ecija, 2nd District) refiled House Bill (HB) No. 676 to after it failed to get approval at the committee level before the 17th congress was adjourned.
Aside from this, two more legislators recently added their proposals to renew the franchise of the Kapamilya network before its expiration.
President Rodrigo Duterte previously threatened to block the franchise renewal of ABS-CBN for allegedly not airing a 2016 ad that he paid for and instead showed a TV spot that was critical of him and was paid by his critic, former Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV.