SC halt on closure order only hope for ABS-CBN broadcast resumption for now: solon


Posted at May 26 2020 08:58 AM | Updated as of May 26 2020 10:26 AM

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MANILA - Getting the Supreme Court to block the closure order against ABS-CBN Corp is the easier route for the network to resume broadcast operations, a lawmaker said Tuesday.

The House of Representatives "needs" time to deliberate on 13 measures granting ABS-CBN a fresh 25-year franchise and 2 House resolutions on issues surrounding it, according to AKO Bicol Rep. Alfredo Garbin, a member of the committee on legislative franchises.

"Siguro ang pag-asa sa ngayon (Maybe the hope right now) is to really argue before the Supreme Court on the procedural due process violations and violations of equal protection clause," he told ANC.

"These are the two grounds in which ABS-CBN can depend on so they can get a temporary restraining for them to resume operations of their stations."

ABS-CBN was forced to halt its broadcast operations on May 5 after the National Telecommunications Commission went back on its commitment to allow ABS-CBN to operate beyond its lapsed franchise.

The network has asked the Supreme Court for a TRO against the NTC's cease-and-desist order.

The high court ordered the NTC and both chambers of Congress to respond to ABS-CBN's petition.

The committees on legislative franchises and good governance are set to conduct a joint hearing later Tuesday to discuss the 13 pending bills on ABS-CBN's franchise.

"Considering the legislative process, nasa proceeding pa lang tayo, that has to be adopted by committee pa. In the event na ma-adopt ng committee, it will entail a lot of time in the second hearing, debate, interpellation and period of amendment. Kung ma-approve sa House, that (bill) will be transmitted to Senate," he said.

(Considering the legislative process, we're just in the proceedings, that has to be adopted by committee. In the event it gets adopted, it will entail a lot of time in the second hearing, debate, interpellation and period of amendment. If its approved in the House, that will be transmitted to Senate.)

"Talagang medyo kailangan ng oras sa House. The Speaker promised there will be an impartial, fair and comprehensive hearing."

(House really needs time.)

There are 181 position papers filed in the House in support of ABS-CBN's franchise renewal while there are 8 opposing it, Garbin said.