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Drilon backs Senate review of ABS-CBN compliance of franchise

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Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon on Thursday said in the exercise of its oversight function, the Senate can look into the compliance of the ABS-CBN of the terms of its legislative franchise.

Drilon supports the move of Senator Grace Poe in filing Senate Resolution 322, which seeks to look into ABS-CBN’s compliance with its franchise following the allegations made by the Solicitor General against the network.

“Given the gravity of the allegations against ABS-CBN and its implications, it would be a total disservice to the Filipino people if we fail to perform our oversight function,” he said.

Drilon said that while reviewing the network’s compliance with its franchise, the Senate could look into the allegations raised by the Solicitor General that ABS-CBN violated the terms of its legislative franchise as part of the oversight functions of Congress.

“The hearings on the resolution can also be justified not only based on its oversight function but also by virtue of its power to investigate in aid of legislation – the investigation will enable the Senate to make a judgment on the proposed renewal of its franchise when it is transmitted by the House of Representatives,” he said.

The senator from Iloilo said that taking up Senate Resolution 322 would not be a violation of the sub-judicerule. He said that under the resolution, the Senate is simply being called to exercise its oversight functions.

“The Congress, not the Supreme Court, has jurisdiction to review compliance by ABS-CBN of the terms of the franchise granted by Congress, especially that there are pending bills seeking renewal of the franchise,” he said.

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