Cebuano lawmaker files joint resolution seeking to extend ABS-CBN franchise to June 2022

By: Rosalie Abatayo - CDN Digital | February 20,2020 - 08:44 AM

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebuano Representative Raul Del Mar has joined the call to give media giant ABS-CBN its day to be heard in Congress.

Del Mar, who represents Cebu City North District, filed a house joint resolution on Tuesday, February 18, 2020, seeking to extend the validity of ABS-CBN’s legislative franchise until the end of the 18th Congress or on June 30, 2022.

ABS-CBN’s 25-year legislative franchise expires this March 30, 2020.

With only 11 sessions left before the Congress adjourns this March 14, 2020, Del Mar says “both the House of Representatives and the Senate need additional time to review, assess and determine whether or not ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation shall be granted the renewal of its franchise.”

“This will enable Congress to discharge its constitutional duty of protecting public interest in the grant and repeal of franchises, without trampling on rights to due process and infringing on free press and free speech,” the resolution reads.

In a separate statement, Del Mar said the Congress and the Supreme Court should deal with the issue on the franchise of ABS-CBN separately.

Last February 10, Solicitor General Jose Calida filed a quo warranto case against the broadcasting network before the SC, citing the networks alleged violations in its franchise conditions.

“The cases for and against the renewal of the franchise of the broadcasting network ABS-CBN must be heard by Congress. Let Congress do its job, separately and independently of the solicitor-general’s lawsuit before the Supreme Court,” Del Mar said.

There are now 12 pending bills before the House of Representatives Committee on Legislative Franchises seeking the renewal of ABS-CBN’s franchise.

“Full airing of the questions that interest us legislators and the constituents we individually represent will help us give an informed vote on pending bills seeking to renew ABS-CBN’s franchise. That is of primary concern to me and, I believe, my colleagues, given the current sound and fury from the impassioned debate on the controversy,” Del Mar said.

“I have always been an advocate of the rule of law and a believer in the mantra on fairness, for everyone, from small citizen to big business. Our trust and hope is that ABS-CBN will get what it is due to the network, as covered by the letter of the law and the spirit of fair play,” he added.

Read: Drilon files resolution extending ABS-CBN franchise until 2022

In a report of last Feb. 16, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon also filed a resolution seeking for the extension of the broadcast network’s franchise amid “uncertainties on the fate of the network.”

Drilon’s resolution seeks that ABS-CBN’s franchise be extended until  December  31, 2022. /bmjo

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TAGS: Cebu City North District, Cebuano lawmaker, extending ABS-CBN franchise, joint resolution, June 2022, Representative Raul Del Mar

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