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Hostage hanggang gusto! Alan Cayetano to let ABS-CBN’s franchise expire before House tackles renewal

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The House of Representatives is in no rush to hold hearings on ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal bid even if the network’s franchise will expire on March 30.

House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano ruled out Friday (February 14) the possibility of the House legislative franchises committee holding a hearing soon on ABS-CBN’s new franchise application.

Congress will adjourn session on March 11. Lawmakers will return to work in May, after ABS-CBN’s franchise has expired.

“Hindi ganoon ka-urgent. Bakit? Kasi hanggang March 2022 pwede mag-operate,” Cayetano told reporters at the sidelines of a mass wedding in Parañaque City.

The Speaker said ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal bid will “definitely” be tackled before March 2022, when Congress goes on a long break again ahead of the next national elections that May.

“Possibly, in May, if we have enough time and we have cooler heads and with all the issues. Worst case, after SONA,” he said.

Cayetano and other House leaders have said that ABS-CBN will not go off the air even with an expired franchise since its application for a new one is already pending.

“Hindi ito race. Hindi ito pabilisan. Kailangan po natin ng lamig ng ulo,” the Speaker said.

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