House to decide on ABS-CBN franchise bid today

A media crew cab enters the ABS-CBN Broadcasting Center, the office of the country’s top broadcast network, following a move by the Philippine government to scrap its franchise, in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines, February 10, 2020. REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez

The House of Representatives is set to poise on the fate of giant network ABS-CBN’s franchise today after months of deliberations.

In a statement, House Committee on Legislative Franchises Chairman Franz Alvarez said they could vote on whether the media giant would be granted a franchise this week as they only have one more issue to discuss before handing down the decision.

Unfair reporting

Earlier, House committee on good government and public accountability vice-chair Mike Defensor said Monday’s hearing will be focusing on the alleged unfair reporting of ABS-CBN during their 2016 national election coverage.

President Rodrigo Duterte has been publicly ranting against the media giant since assuming the presidency, after accusing them of not airing his paid campaign ads during the 2016 elections and instead aired an ad against him. He also called the owners of the corporation, the Lopezes as ‘oligarchs.’

Earlier this year, ABS-CBN Corporation President and Chief Executive Officer Carlo Katigbak issued an apology for failing to air the President’s PHP 7 million worth of political ads during the 2016 elections.

READ:  ABS-CBN apologizes to Prez Duterte for not airing his 2016 political ads

On May 5, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) issued a cease and desist order against ABS-CBN to operate its various television and radio broadcasting stations nationwide a day after its legislative franchise expired.

The NTC also barred the network’s subsidiary Sky Cable and Channel 43, where ABS-CBN airs digital TV Plus channels such as Cine MO!, Yey!, TeleRadyo, and pay-per-view channel KBO.

READ: NTC orders ABS-CBN subsidiary Sky Cable, TV Plus channels to halt operations

What has been discussed?

So far, lawmakers have already discussed issues with ABS-CBN such as the network’s supposed tax violations as well as ownership and foreign citizenship issues, among others in which the media company has debunked.


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