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Nagkamali sa pagmamadali? Pangilinan: House’s passage of ABS-CBN provisional franchise unconstitutional

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The House of Representatives might have violated the Constitution in its haste to pass the provisional franchise for ABS-CBN, Senator Francis Pangilinan said Thursday (May 14).

In a statement, Pangilinan pointed out that Article VI Section 26 of the Constitution states that: “No bill passed by either House shall become a law unless it has passed three readings on separate days, and printed copies thereof in its final form have been distributed to its Members three days before its passage, except when the President certifies to the necessity of its immediate enactment to meet a public calamity or emergency.”

House Bill 6732 filed by Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and other House leaders grants ABS-CBN a provisional franchise valid until October 31, 2020. It was passed by the House on second reading Wednesday (May 13), the same day it was tackled by the chamber, convening as the Committee of the Whole.

Pangilinan, whose wife is an ABS-CBN talent, said granting the network’s franchise should be done the right way.

“We want ABS-CBN to be back on air as we know its operation is crucial in ensuring the free flow of life-saving information and in keeping the jobs of thousands of people. However, we want our courses of action to be right – from the bill’s landing at the House plenary to its transmittal to the Senate for our own deliberation – so that we will have a provisional franchise that is legally and constitutionally firm and unassailable,” he said.

Pangilinan said he is also hopeful that Congress will start soon the deliberations to grant ABS-CBN a 25-year franchise.

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