House justice committee sets probe on ABS-CBN title to QC property

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 17 2020 11:33 PM

MANILA - After shooting down ABS-CBN’s bid for a franchise renewal, congressmen are training their sights on the network’s ownership of its broadcast compound on Mother Ignacia St., South Triangle, Quezon City.

According to the schedule of hearings posted on the House of Represenatives’ website, the House Committee on Justice will start its investigation into the ABS-CBN property on Sept. 23 as an offshoot of a technical working group (TWG) report on the franchise deliberations.

In recommending that the franchise bid be denied, the TWG alleged the network's Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) of its Quezon City property was not found in the Register of Deeds.

The TWG report had led Sagip party-list Rep. Rodante Marcoleta to file a House resolution seeking an inquiry into the authenticity of ABS-CBN's title to the property. Marcoleta himself had raised these issues during the franchise hearings.

Marcoleta said during the franchise hearings, ABS-CBN representatives presented only a copy of the property’s Transfer Certificate of Title. Upon investigating it further, he said, it appeared that ABS-CBN’s title referred only to "a minuscule area of only 42 square meters" and not the 44,000 square meter-lot that was supposed to be the size of the broadcast compound.

Marcoleta said the government could file an action for the nullification of the company's land title "if upon a final finding... (it) is indeed of dubious origin."

He was among 70 lawmakers who voted last July 10 to reject ABS-CBN's bid for new franchise.