The fate of the ABS-CBN franchise remains in limbo as Congress has yet to act on its hearing.
According to the House Committee on Legislative Franchises Chair Rep. Franz Alvarez, the House will have to wait for NTC’s explanation before they plan for the next move.
“Sa ngayon, aantayin muna natin ang sagot ng NTC dahil doon natin madi-discern ang aming susunod na mga hakbang,” said Alvarez in an interview with DZMM.
“Aantayin lang talaga natin yang sagot ng NTC [dahil] malaking bagay at malaking issue ang maka-klaro nyan kapag nakabigay ng sagot ang NTC so titingnan muna natin. Doon naka-base ang lahat,” he added.
On May 5, NTC issued a cease and desist order against ABS-CBN reneging on their commitment in congress that they will give ABS-CBN provisional authority.
Aside from waiting for NTC’s answer, three lawmakers have lodged another roadblock to ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal.
On Monday, May 11, Deputy Speaker Paolo Duterte, House Appropriations Chairman Eric Yap, and Cavite 8th District Rep. Abraham Tolentino filed House Resolution No. 853 asking for a legislative investigation on alleged ABS-CBN franchise violations.
According to the three, ABS-CBN violated their franchise when they offered the pay per view channel KBO and ABS-CBN’s PDRs which according to them violated the constitutional restriction on foreign ownership on media.
These allegations, however, were all answered during the Senate hearing last February 24 with no less than Department Of Justice Sec. Menardo Guevarra saying KBO is allowed in the franchise.
The Securities and Exchange Commission also cleared ABS-CBN on the allegation of foreign ownership because PDRs are not equivalent to owning a share of the company.
According to SC Spokesman Brian Keith Hosaka, the case was already raffled but the justices haven’t discussed it yet to give them time to read the petition.
ABS-CBN petition vs NTC cease and desist order will be taken up by SC en banc not tomorrow, Tuesday, May 12, but on Tuesday next week, May 19.
SC source: "Nobody has read the petition yet. To give time to ponente and others to read the petition."
— Mike Navallo (@mikenavallo) May 11, 2020
The bill was sponsored by Speaker Alan Cayetano.