Bato says 'one step closer' to backing ABS-CBN franchise renewal

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 24 2020 03:12 PM | Updated as of Feb 24 2020 04:36 PM

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MANILA — Sen. Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa on Monday said he was "one step closer" to supporting the franchise renewal of ABS-CBN Corp after its executives answered allegations of abuse on its pay-per-view offering. 

The government's top lawyer raised the issue and ABS-CBN's alleged foreign ownership in a petition asking the Supreme Court to scrap the network's franchise, which would expire in March. 

ABS-CBN's pay-per-view offering is "not in violation of our franchise," its President and Chief Executive Officer Carlo L. Katigbak told senators, quoting the justice department and the National Telecommunications Commission. 

"Both of them have said that the specific wording in our franchise is to 'operate a broadcast television network for commercial purposes.' The term 'commercial purposes' is broad enough to allow us to charge for certain services," he said. 

Dela Rosa later in the hearing told ABS-CBN executives that they gave lawmakers "the right answer." 

"I am one step closer to supporting your renewal of your franchise... Hindi ako galit sa inyo. In fact, nagpasalamat ako sa inyo, marami kayong natulungan na tao," he added. 

(I am not mad at you. In fact, I thank you, you help a lot of people.) 

Dela Rosa earlier said the welfare of the nation was more important than 11,000 people who could lose their jobs if ABS-CBN Corp failed to renew its franchise by March 30. 

"What is 11,000 compared to the whole Filipino nation na matagal nang sinamantalahan ng isang kompanya kung talagang ma-prove yan sa hearing? What is 11,000 compared to the whole Filipino nation?" Dela Rosa told reporters last week. 

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