Loading
Breaking
Now Reading: SUMMATIONS ONLY | ABS-CBN franchise still hangs as lawmakers withhold voting
SUMMATIONS ONLY | ABS-CBN franchise still hangs as lawmakers withhold voting
July 9, 2020 , 08:27 PM

(July 09, 2020) – Lawmakers stopped short of putting to a vote on Thursday a bill that will decide the fate of the country’s biggest broadcast company which seeks a new franchise to resume its operation, after a two-month shutdown.

House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano led the summation of points on the penultimate day of hearings on the franchise issue of embattled media giant ABS-CBN, with 92 legislators expected to rule at the committee level. Among those who will cast their votes are House leaders as ex-officio members, including Cayetano and his deputies.

The House leader slammed the network anew over its perceived media bias and “theft of government from the people while hiding under the pretense of press freedom.”

“Big business, conjoined with commercial media, should not be allowed to engage in partisan politics by wielding its power to protect its interest, meddle and interfere in elections, and surreptitiously support certain candidates in the guise of reporting the news,” he said.

Anakalusugan party-list Rep. Mike Defensor, who grilled ABS-CBN executives during the 12-hearing proceedings, hit the oligarchic nature of the Lopez family who owns the media company. He mentioned a book by historian Alfred McCoy which detailed the Lopezes’ rent-seeking scheme from ABS-CBN to power distributor Meralco.

Rent-seeking is an economic concept where an individual or an entity increases their wealth without creating any benefit or wealth to the society.

“They say that the vote for the continuance of a franchise or granting of a franchise to ABS-CBN is a suppression of press freedom but I say, Mr. Chairman, that a yes vote to stop the franchise is a vote to stop the perpetuation of an oligarchy that continues to suppress our people,” said Defensor.

CITIZENSHIP, PDRs

Sagip Rep. Rodante Marcoleta for his part, insisted that ABS-CBN chairman emeritus Eugenio “Gabby” Lopez is an American, and therefore, not allowed to own and run the network under the Constitution.

“Wala pong napakitang ebidensya na Pilipino pa rin ang mga magulang ni Ginoong Lopez noong siya ay pinanganak noong 1952 sa Amerika,” Marcoleta said.

But House Deputy Minority speaker Carlos Zarate of Bayan Muna, who asserted ABS-CBN did not violate any laws on his summation, mentioned the justice department and immigration bureau stands on Lopez as a Filipino, after lawmakers questioned his dual citizenship.

Zarate added that the Securities and Exchange Commission has cleared ABS-CBN Holdings over the issuance of Philippine Depositary Receipts (PDRs), which were not “evidence of ownership.”

Marcoleta responded, stressing the selling of PDRs opened ABS-CBN to foreign ownership.

“It must be emphasized that contrary to ABS-CBN’s submission, it is not the view of the SEC that matters here. It is not the opinion of the DOJ that will prevail, not even the BI or other agencies. It is the will of Congress that should be accorded due respect,” he said.

AMCAR, TAX SHIELDS

The Sagip lawmaker also alleged that ABS-CBN used its subsidiaries, Big Dipper and the Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation, as tax shields.

“Ang sabi ng BIR: ang ABS-CBN ay palaging bayad sa buwis. Katunayan ito ay isa sa pinakamalaking taxpayer sa Pilipinas. Sabi ng PEZA, walang tax shield,” Zarate answered.

Lawmakers also probed the ABS-CBN’s blocktime agreement with Amcara Broadcasting Corp., declaring it “usufruct” as it allowed the company to air programs on its frequency.

ABS-CBN president and CEO Carlo Katigbak earlier explained that Amcara’s Channel 43 was not listed in the cease-and-desist order issued last May 5.

The lawmaker then raised doubts that ABS-CBN owned the property in Mother Ignacia Avenue in Quezon City, when the Marcos government took over in 1972.

But Marcoleta was forced to pause his address due to a power interruption in the session hall.

LABOR CASES

Marcoleta and Zarate also refuted each other on the labor cases filed by former employees against ABS-CBN.

“It was established that ABS-CBN, and contrary to the endeared Kapamilya treatment to its workers, showed a pattern of systemic denial from its deserving workers the benefit of regularization,” Marcoleta said.

Zarate replied that the Department of Labor and Employment cleared the network of labor violations.

“Matapos ang napakaraming bintang, uulitin ko, walang napatunayan na pagkakasala ang ABS-CBN. Sa halip, nakita natin ang kaniyang pakinabang sa bayan bilang tagapaglingkod,” he said.

Earlier, Abang Lingkod Rep. Joseph Stephen Paduano withdrew his co-authorship of House Bill 3713 giving ABS-CBN its franchise, the second to do so after Kabayan Rep. Ron Salo.

ABS-CBN is seeking a fresh 25-year franchise after its license to operate expired on May 4.

The House Committee on Legislative Franchise is set to form a technical working group to draft a recommendation, which will form the basis of the members’ decision, possibly on Friday.

Groups and ABS-CBN employees supporting the network earlier staged a caravan urging lawmakers to grant the new franchise. (Katrina Elaine Alba/AGD)

More From News5
Nasa 33,000 sa Cebu, tumanggap ng ayuda kahit ‘di kwalipikado
Bukod sa COVID-19, pinoproblema na rin sa Cebu ang nasa 33,000 na nakakuha ng ayuda pero hindi naman qualified. Mayroon din daw nasa 1,000 na doble ang nakuha.
Published On: July 12, 2020
PNP Central Visayas chief, tiwalang makababalik din sa GCQ ang Cebu City
#SaTotooLang | Tiwala ang hepe ng PNP Central Visayas na kaya nang bumalik sa general community quarantine ng Cebu City sa loob ng dalawang linggo, na unang sinabi ni Secretary Roy Cimatu. Aniya, kahit patuloy ang pag-akyat ng mga kaso ng #COVID19 sa lungsod ay dapat din daw tignan ang bilang ng mga gumagaling sa sakit.
Published On: July 12, 2020
'Emerging COVID-19 hotspots,' binabantayan na ng DOH
Tinututukan na ng Department of Health ang anim na lugar sa Visayas dahil sa onti-onting pagdami ng mga kaso ng #COVID19 dito, kabilang na ang Cebu.
Published On: July 12, 2020
Pagkamatay ng mga isda sa Laguna Lake, 'di raw dahil sa COVID-19
Nilinaw ng Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources na hindi ang COVID-19 ang naging dahilan sa pagkamatay ng 800 metric tons ng isda sa Laguna Lake, na nagdulot ng pagkahina ng bentahan sa mga palengke. | via Gary de Leon
Published On: July 12, 2020
Pamimigay ng PWD IDs sa Q.C., itinigil muna
Pansamantalang itinigil ng Quezon City ang pag-issue nito ng PWD card matapos madiskubreng nakakuha rin ng card na nagbibigay discount sa ilang serbisyo ang mga wala namang kapansanan. | via Jenny Dongon
Published On: July 12, 2020
Grade 7 student, viral matapos i-enroll ang sarili
Viral sa social media ang kwento ng isang batang ini-enroll ang sarili sa isang computer shop sa Caloocan. Ang ama naman ng bata, aminado ring hindi pamilyar sa makabagong paraan ng pag-enroll para sa nalalapit na pasukan. | via JC Cosico
Published On: July 12, 2020
Is Philippines ready for the blended learning scheme?
The kid who went viral online after struggling to enroll via piso-net, or coin-operated prepaid Internet, now faces an even bigger problem: He has no gadgets for DepEd's blended learning scheme.
Published On: July 12, 2020
DOLE, planong magbigay ng P40-B ayuda sa mga manggagawa
Planong magpatupad ang DOLE ng P40-B wage subsidy para sa mga manggagawang apektado ng COVID-19 pandemic. Nasa 90,000 na kasi ang nawalan ng trabaho dahil sa krisis.
Published On: July 12, 2020
OWWA, nanganganib ma-bankrupt dahil sa COVID-19 pandemic
Nagbabala ang Overseas Workers Welfare Administration na malapit na itong ma-bankrupt dahil sa patuloy nitong pagtulong sa mga OFW na nawalan ng trabaho dahil sa #COVID19 pandemic. | via Marie Ann Los Baños
Published On: July 12, 2020
DOH, ipinaliwanag ang mga kasalukuyang datos sa COVID-19
Ipinaliwanag ng Department of Health na kahit pataas ang COVID-19 cases sa bansa, gradual ito at hindi biglaan. Bumaba rin daw ang positivity rate dahil sa lumalawak na testing capacity. Naobserbahan naman ng kagawaran ang emerging hotspot (lugar kung saan dumarami ang kaso) sa Cebu City, Cebu province, Ormoc City, Southern Leyte, Leyte, at Samar.
Published On: July 12, 2020
Top Stories
COVID-FREE PROVINCE | COVID-free Batanes pushes for face-to-face learning
By Von Belinario (August 07, 2020) – The governor of the country’s northernmost province of Batanes has been pushing a face-to-face learnin
Published On: August 7, 2020
BREWING STORM | Low pressure area may become a tropical depression and bring rains in virus-hit Philippines
(August 07, 2020) – The virus-hit Philippine capital may experience more rainy afternoons as a low pressure area east of the main island of L
Published On: August 7, 2020
COVID CASES RISE | Philippines reports COVID cases exceed 122,000, 8th in Asia
(August 07, 2020) – The Philippines’ total number of confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases has risen to more than 122,000, th
Published On: August 7, 2020
MISINFORMATION | Facebook takes down pro-Trump ads for false posts
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Facebook Inc is temporarily banning a Republican political action committee, the Committee to Defend the President,
Published On: August 7, 2020
SEX CRIMES | Mexico holds cult leader for rape, human trafficking, child porn
LOS ANGELES, Aug 6 (Reuters) – The leader of a Mexico-based church that claims over 1 million followers worldwide was ordered on Thursday
Published On: August 7, 2020