- Rep. Rufus Rodriguez joined calls for ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal.
- FORUM-Asia asked Congress to stand for press freedom and renew ABS-CBN’s franchise.
Rep. Rufus Rodriguez is the latest legislator who is supporting ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal.
With barely three months before its license expires, Rodriguez, a known Duterte ally, said House Committee on Legislative Franchises should immediately tackle several groups and bills aimed at renewing ABS-CBN’s license.
“I urge Chair Franz Alvarez of the House Committee on Legislative Franchise to start hearings on my House Bill No. 5705 renewing the ABS-CBN franchise for another 25 years together with 9 other bills on the same subject matter. Congress should always uphold the Constitutional mandate under Sec 4, Art 3 to ensure the freedom of the press,” he said.
Aside from being the largest network with the biggest number of employees and biggest operating expenses, the CDO representative also pointed out in his explanatory note the company’s corporate social responsibility and all its charity works.
“The late Gina Lopez initiated the Bantay Bata 163, the Bantay Kalikasan and the Kapit Bisig para sa Ilog Pasig project,” said Rodriguez
Meanwhile, aside from Rodrigez, the international human rights group Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-Asia) has also called on the Philippine congress to renew the Kapamilya network’s franchise.
FORUM-Asia has 81 member organizations from 21 Asian countries.
In their statement, FORUM-Asia said the Philippine Congress should stand for press freedom especially in a time where attacks against media in the country have worsened.
“At a time when the international community recognizes the gravity of the violations committed in pursuit of the ‘war on drugs’ and efforts to promote accountability are slowly yielding results, Congress must prove itself capable of standing by its principles and promote the interests of the people. It must resist pressure from the executive and refuse to allow itself to be used to shield the President from accountability,” said FORUM-Asia.
ABS-CBN’s license is about to expire in March 2020.
Currently, there are already 9 bills filed by 11 Congressmen seeking for ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal.