By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN
MANILA – Senator Grace Poe has slammed the supposed double standards of the House of Representatives after junking the franchise renewal bid of embattled broadcast giant ABS-CBN due to alleged several violations it committed with its previous license.
Poe said she was saddened by the outright denial of the franchise application of the Kapamilya network amid alleged violations of the network, which she claimed “could have been dealt with in another forum or the proper agencies.”
“If there was indeed violation of some kind, the NTC (National Telecommunications Commission) should have filed a case against them,” said Poe, chair of the Senate committee on public services.
Poe recalled that Dito Telecommunity Corporation, formerly known as Mislatel of Davao-based billionaire Dennis Uy, was given a franchise by Congress and allowed to operate “despite its violations.”
According to Poe, when Uy’s Udenna Group acquired the rights of Mislatel, it “was dormant for the longest time which can be considered as a major violation of its franchise.
Poe stressed that part of Mislatel’s legislative franchise agreement “states that you should be in operation for a certain period” but yet Congress “moved past that and granted them the franchise.”
She noted that when the resolution on the Mislatel franchise reached the Senate, the senators saw the need of the telecommunications industry for a third player and gave Uy’s firm a chance but with certain safeguards.
“There are parameters but you should also be flexible in the name of public service, what can serve the most number of people, what interest will be upheld,” said Poe.
President Rodrigo Duterte during his speech in Sulu has claimed that his government was able to dismantle an oligarchy without declaring a Martial Law.
The chief executive’s statement came just days after the Lower House’s outright denial of the franchise renewal application of the Lopez-owned media conglomerate.
“If it will be just for personal vendetta or personal opinions about it, I don’t think it would be fair,” said Poe.