Officials of ABS-CBN and various government agencies faced the Senate on Monday to answer issues on the network’s franchise. Here are the stories making the headlines on ANC today:
Answering franchise issues
ABS-CBN President and CEO Carlo L. Katigbak apologized for the non-airing of campaign ads in 2016 that President Duterte has been ranting about. Sens. Lito Lapid and Manny Pacquiao said they are for the renewal of the network’s franchise. Even Duterte’s allies in the upper House are taking a more conciliatory tone towards the network. Sen. Bong Go said he would take the issue of the franchise up with Duterte. Sen. Ronald Dela Rosa said that after hearing clarifications, he was “one step away” from supporting the franchise.
Bickering between houses
House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano had said the Senate probe might not be constitutional. And at the beginning of the hearing, Senators insisted on the legality and jurisdiction of the probe on ABS-CBN. Today, Cayetano said senators who attended the hearing were trying to ingratiate themselves to the network. But Sen. Grace Poe, who led the hearings, said Cayetano was entitled to his own opinion and that “you can’t please everybody.” The lower House has been getting flak for not moving on the ABS-CBN franchise. Just as the hearing started, the House said it was accepting position papers on the franchise.
The Senate hearing also discussed the franchise as an issue of press freedom. Fitting and timely since the country will be celebrating another EDSA anniversary today, marking the restoration of press freedom after the dark days of the Marcos dictatorship.
Out of the virus ship
Around 400 Filipinos who are crew members of the Diamond Princess cruise ship are due to arrive at the country today. These crew members have tested negative for the Coronavirus Infectious Disease 2019 (COVID-2019). A total of 59 Filipinos have been infected and are receiving care in Japan. The total number of Filipinos working on the ship is 538.
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