PIRMA Kapamilya welcomes ABS-CBN’s comeback on A2Z, says franchise denial should not be forgotten

Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 07 2020 06:22 PM | Updated as of Oct 07 2020 06:23 PM

MANILA — Organizers and volunteers of the People's Initiative for Reforms and Movement for Action or PIRMA Kapamilya on Wednesday welcomed the return of ABS-CBN’s entertainment programs on free TV but said the public should not forget the fact that 70 lawmakers denied the broadcast company’s franchise application. 

PIRMA Kapamilya, which seeks to renew the broadcast franchise of ABS-CBN through a people’s initiative as provided for in the Constitution, said they understand that the network had to engage with other platforms such as Zoe Broadcasting Network’s free TV channel A2Z for the widest possible reach.

But the group stressed that the lawmakers from the House of Representatives have stripped ABS-CBN of its permanent home, forcing it to seek shelter through another broadcasting network.

“PIRMA Kapamilya, with the support of all its volunteers, remains committed to continue to help correct this wrong by passing a law that grants them back their franchise via people's initiative,” the group said in a statement. 

The franchise denial led to massive retrenchment at the company at a time of economic recession, as well as the curtailment of press freedom and the right of the public to information and entertainment, the group emphasized.

The group said its signature campaign, fueled by its army of volunteers nationwide, will continue until ABS-CBN is back on free TV with a franchise of its own.

“We are happy with this development and emphasize that this is not inconsistent with our campaign to grant ABS-CBN a people's franchise,” the group said. 

ABS-CBN Corp on Tuesday revealed some of its entertainment shows and movies would be seen on the A2Z channel 11, the newly rebranded Zoe TV 11, starting Oct. 10.

The new A2Z Channel 11 will be seen on free TV via analog broadcast in Metro Manila and nearby provinces. It will also be available on many cable and satellite TV providers such as Sky Cable.

The free-TV comeback of ABS-CBN comes five months after ABS-CBN Channel 2 ceased broadcast in May due to the expiration of its franchise. The House of Representatives subsequently denied its franchise application in July.