PIRMA Kapamilya volunteers in the 3rd District of Camarines Sur have submitted the first batch of signatures of the people's initiative to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) for the renewal of the broadcast franchise of ABS-CBN.
After a House of Representatives committee denied ABS-CBN's franchise renewal bid last year, volunteers launched a signature campaign nationwide in a coordinated effort to bring back ABS-CBN’s free TV and radio channels to the airwaves.
The network marked a year since its shutdown on May 5.
"Napakagandang Balita!!! Isang taon makalipas ang pagpatay sa prangkisa ng #ABSCBN, nagsumite ang mga volunteers ng PIRMA Kapamilya sa #COMELEC," the volunteers announced on Facebook.
(Great news!!! A year after the franchise bid was killed, Pirma Kapamilya volunteers made a submission to Comelec.)
The volunteers said more than 20,000 signatures from registered voters were submitted for validation, noting that the number is 6 percent of the total registered votes in the district, more than the 3 percent minimum required per district.
After the submission of the signatures, the commission is expected to counter-check if the signatories are registered voters of the district.
"Ito ang unang pagkakataon na magagamit ang people's initiative matapos maglabas ng bagong implementing rules ang Comelec noong January 2020," the volunteers said.
(This the first time that a people's initiative will be used since Comelec released new implementing rules in January 2020.)
ABS-CBN can resume its free television and radio services if the granting of a franchise wins in a national referendum after gathering at least 7 million signatures, said lawyer Eirene Jhone Aguila in an earlier interview.
-with a report from Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News
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