Vilma Santos-Recto to refile bill pushing for new ABS-CBN franchise

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 04 2021 10:40 PM

Batangas representative Vilma Santos-Recto during a joint session of Congress at the House of Representatives on July 22, 2017. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA - Batangas 6th District Rep. Vilma Santos-Recto said Monday she will refile a bill seeking to give a fresh franchise to ABS-CBN for another 25 years, after its previous license to operate expired and its application for a new one was rejected by a House panel in 2020.

This, after Senate President Vicente Sotto III filed his Senate Bill No. 196 seeking to grant ABS-CBN a new license to operate its television and radio broadcasting stations.

"We need to start rebuilding our economy," Santos-Recto said in a statement.

"Through this bill, we will be creating jobs (so many people do not have jobs today) and help promote healthy competition among the networks. Most importantly, di mapagkakaila ang far reach ng ABS-CBN in the regions during calamities," she noted.

The actress-politician hopes that the House Committee on Rules will "immediately act" on Sotto's bill so it can be sent to the Committee on Legislative Franchises "the soonest."

"I am hoping for the best," she said.

Her husband Sen. Ralph Recto earlier voiced support for Sotto's bill, saying ABS-CBN deserves to operate on free TV and radio again.

When asked about Sotto's view that ABS-CBN has a better chance of securing a franchise this year, Sen. Franklin Drilon said: "Depends on President [Rodrigo] Duterte."

Duterte had repeatedly and threatened to shut down the network for supposedly failing to air some of his presidential campaign advertisements in 2016 and accommodating one that was critical of him and was paid for by his critic, former Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV.

He had also urged the network's executives to just sell ABS-CBN's assets to other businessmen.--With reports from RG Cruz and Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

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