Deputy Speaker Paolo Duterte, the son of President Rodrigo Duterte, filed on Monday a House resolution asking the House franchise panel to look into ABS-CBN’s “probable violations” of its expired congressional franchise.
The Davao City representative was joined by Cavite Rep. Abraham Tolentino and ACT-CIS party-list Rep. Eric Yap in filing House Resolution 853, which seeks an investigation in aid of legislation against ABS-CBN’s alleged violations.
ABS-CBN’s franchise expired on May 4. It was ordered shut down on May 5 by the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC).
But Duterte, Tolentino and Yap said ABS-CBN should be investigated, as it was operating a pay-per-view channel through free-to-air signals “in violation of its legislative franchise.”
“ABS-CBN Corporation’s operation of a pay-per-view channel through free-to-air signals despite being ordered by the National Telecommunication Commission to refrain from doing so, and await the issuance of appropriate guidelines, is in violation of the terms of its legislative franchise,” the three said.
“By charging the public with its pay-per-view Kapamilya Box Office (KBO) channel through ABS-CBN TV Plus, it has been gaining huge profits at the expense of the public while using the air frequencies provided by the government for free,” the congressmen said.
The three also argued that ABS-CBN’s issuance of Philippine Depository Receipts (PDRs) to non-Filipino citizens through ABS-CBN Holdings was a violation of the 1987 Constitution.
“The resulting foreign equity in ABS-CBN Corporation also violates Republic Act. No 7042 (Foreign Investments Act of 1991) as amended by Republic Act No. 8179, Executive Order No. 184 (Promulgating the Tenth Regular Foreign Investment Negative List), and Presidential Decree No. 1018 (Limiting the Ownership and Management of Mass Media to Citizens of the Philippines and for Other Purposes),” they said.