Congress wrong to sit on ABS-CBN franchise renewal bills: Atienza

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 13 2020 10:25 AM

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Congress should not give up its constitutional responsibility by sitting on several bills seeking the renewal of ABS-CBN Corp, which the government's top lawyer assailed this week, a lawmaker said Thursday.

The proposed laws to renew ABS-CBN's franchise, set to expire in March, were filed as early as November last year and the House of Representatives has yet to schedule a hearing on these, said Buhay Party-list Rep. Lito Atienza. 

"Iyong tayo'y hindi aaksyon hindi maganda, hindi tama (for us not to take action is not good, not right) and meanwhile 14,000 families are dependent on the decision," he told DZMM. 

"Hindi po Korte Suprema ang dapat mag-decide kung may violation ang ABS. Sa Kongreso dapat pag-usapan iyan... Let's not give up the responsibility on our shoulder," he added. 

(The Supreme Court shouldn't decide on whether ABS committed violations, that should be tacked in Congress.) 

Supporters of ABS-CBN, the country's top broadcast network, hold a rally against the government's move to scrap its franchises, in Quezon City, Feb. 10, 2020. Eloisa Lopez, Reuters

Solicitor General Jose Calida on Monday asked the Supreme Court to revoke ABS-CBN's franchise due to alleged "abuses", which the network denied. 

The House legislative franchises committee has started "closed door meeting" on the ABS-CBN license bills, said Atienza, citing information from the panel's vice chairperson, Isabela Rep. Tonypet Albano. 

"Dapat iyan open, transparent at kasama ang lahat, pati ang taumbayan," Atienza said of the development. 

(That should be open, transparent and involve everyone, including the public.) 
    
DZMM, Feb. 13, 2020