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LOOK: Drilon files Joint Resolutions for extending ABS-CBN franchise

LOOK: Drilon files Joint Resolutions for extending ABS-CBN franchise

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon on Monday filed a joint resolution seeking to extend the franchise of ABS-CBN Corporation up to the end of 2022.

In filing Senate Joint Resolution No. 11, Drilon cited the need for more time for both the Senate and the House of Representatives to review the application for renewal of the network’s 25-year franchise, which will expire on March 30, 2020.

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He said the two chambers need additional time to review, assess, and determine whether or not ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation shall be granted the renewal of its franchise, noting that there are only 12 session days left before the adjournment of Congress on March 14, 2020.

“On March 30, 2020, more than 11,000 families will go home jobless and millions of viewers will be affected if we do not act on this resolution immediately. I therefore urge for the immediate passage of this resolution,” Drilon said.
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Republic Act 7966, enacted into law on March 30, 1995, grants the ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation a franchise “to construct, operate and maintain, for commercial purposes and in the public interest, television and radio broadcasting stations in and throughout the country.”

Senate Joint Resolution No. 11 also states that there are several bills filed in the House of Representatives seeking to renew the franchise of ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation remain pending in the House Committee on Legislative Franchises.

The resolution also cited Senate Resolution 322, which was filed by Senator Grace Poe, seeking to inquire, in aid of legislation, the operations of ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation to determine compliance with the terms and conditions of its franchise.

Drilon earlier said that it is Congress, not the Supreme Court, “that has jurisdiction to review compliance by ABS-CBN of the terms of the franchise granted by Congress, especially that there are pending bills seeking to renew its franchise.”

On February 10, about 50 days before the franchise expires, Solicitor General Jose Calida  filed a quo warranto petition before the Supreme Court to forfeit the legislative franchise of ABS-CBN Corporation and its subsidiary, ABS-CBN Convergence, for alleged violations of the terms and conditions of the franchise.

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