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Sarado na ang tindahan! ABS-CBN franchise renewal dead in 17th Congress, says Arroyo

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By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN

Following last week’s sine die adjournment, the application for franchise of network giant ABS-CBN is considered dead under the 17th Congress, former President and now outgoing House Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo said.

“The Congress is finished, our sessions are over,” Mrs. Arroyo said in an ambush interview on Thursday.

But the former chief executive refused to comment over the reason why her leadership failed process the Kapamilya network’s franchise renewal under House Bills No. 4349 and 8163 respectively despite being pending in the Committee on Legislative Franchises since November 2016.

Meanwhile, reelected Surigao del Sur Rep. Johnny Pimentel has slammed a broadsheet story stating that the House of Representatives has frozen the congressional franchise of ABS-CBN.

Pimentel stressed that the story was obviously “misleading” and “sends a wrong perception that it is a deliberate action” on the part of lawmakers.

“Congress has no intentions of freezing any franchise application. What happened is that deliberations on the franchise was not finished because inabutan na ng adjournment of the 17th Congress,” said Pimentel.

Pimentel said the franchise application bill of the Kapamilya network can be re-filed again this coming 18th Congress.

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