- Senate to start probing the ABS-CBN franchise.
Senate President Tito Sotto disclosed that the Senate is planning to hold a caucus next week to discuss Sen. Grace Poe’s resolution to probe the ABS-CBN franchise.
In a statement Thursday, Sotto said he will call a caucus on Monday, February 16, to get consensus on whether they will proceed with Poe’s resolution.
“I’ll call a caucus on Monday,” said Sotto.
Sen. Ping Lacson agreed with Sotto saying they should have caucus first to discuss whether the resolution violates the sub judice rule.
“We may have to discuss it in caucus first as it may be violative of the sub judice rule, now that the Supreme Court has already asked ABS-CBN to file their comment within 10 days,” Lacson said.
On Thursday, February 13, Sen.Grace Poe filed Senate Resolution 322, directing the committee on public services which she chairs to look into the operations of ABS-CBN, including its compliance with the terms and conditions of its franchise under Republic Act 7966 enacted in 1995.
“Due to the gravity of the allegations and its possible effects, the committee has deemed it appropriate to lay the groundwork for a possible inquiry in the spirit of public interest,” said Poe in a statement.
Poe, however, said that the move is not intended to “preclude any action” from other branch of the government such as House of Representative where 11 ABS-CBN franchise renewal bills are currently pending and the Supreme Court where the OSG’s quo warranto petition is filed.
The House Committee on Legislative Franchise has still yet to calendar the discussion on the ABS-CBN franchise.
Committee Vice Chair Rep. Antonio Albano said they are proceeding steadily and cautiously with regards to the pending bills seeking ABS-CBN franchise renewal. However, the Isabela Congressman did not gave exact date on when they will start the public hearing on the pending renewal bills.
The Supreme Court, on the other hand, has asked ABS-CBN to comment within 10 days on the quo warranto petition filed by Sol Gen Jose Calida.