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Nananadya talaga! Lawmaker bares House leader’s delaying tactic to set back ABS-CBN franchise hearing

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The House committee on legislative franchises has yet to schedule a public hearing on ABS-CBN’s bid to renew its franchise even if there’s barely a month left before Congress takes a long break.

Hopes rose among ABS-CBN insiders and supporters that the network’s franchise renewal bid will be discussed when committee members met privately on February 5.

However, the meeting ended without a schedule being set for a hearing.

ACT Teachers party-list Rep. France Castro, who was present at the meeting, shared the excuse made by Palawan Rep. Franz Alvarez, the committee chairman, when the subject of ABS-CBN’s franchise bid was brought up.

“Kahapon naka-attend ako ng committee on franchise at ni-raise ito ni Congresswoman Castelo. Kaya lang ang sagot ng chair ng committee on franchise ay pinag-aaralan pa. Masyadong matagal ang pag-aaral dito ano?” she said in a press conference Thursday (February 6), referring to Quezon City Rep. Precious Castelo.

Castro expressed dismay at the delaying tactics she believes are being employed by House leaders to push back hearing ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal bid.

She noted that several franchise bills were approved without a hitch during the committee’s private meeting, which lasted five minutes.

“Sa kabila ng maraming panawagan para sa Kongreso na i-hear ang franchise renewal ng ABS-CBN, hindi pa rin naisasalang ito,” Castro said.

President Rodrigo Duterte has repeatedly threatened to block ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal bid. The network’s franchise will expire on March 30, 2020.

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