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ABS-CBN not an exemption: Poe: Franchise holders accountable to Congress, people

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Senator Grace Poe on Monday reiterated that a franchise is an act of “legislative grace.”

Poe, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Public Services, stressed this during the public hearing on the franchise of ABS-CBN broadcast network.

“Hindi ito karapatan na “pwede sa lahat, para sa lahat,” kundi isang pribilehiyo na ibinibigay lamang sa mga may kakayanang gampanan ang mga tungkulin na nilalaman nito,” Poe said.

“As such, franchise holders are accountable first and foremost to Congress as the representatives of the people. Ang lahat ng may hawak ng prangkisa ay nananatili sa aming gabay at patnubay,” she said.

ABS-CBN is “not an exception,” Poe said. “This is a test case for every broadcasting entity that forms part of the economy.’

“Nagpapasalamat tayo sa kanilang serbisyo sa sambayanang Pilipino at patuloy tayong titindig para sa malayang pamamahayag,” she said.

“In the midst of these issues, we take note of the recommendation of the DoJ (Department of Justice) for a resolution which will extend ABS-CBN’s franchise pending renewal,” she said.

Poe added, “Narinig rin natin mula sa NTC (National Telecommunications Commission) na ang ilang violations ay hindi naman awtomatikong nauuwi sa kanselasyon. Hindi naman kaagad capital punishment, hindi naman kaagad bitay ang hatol dito.”

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