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Senate inquiry on ABS-CBN franchise is not unconstitutional – Pangilinan

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Senator Kiko Pangilinan on Friday said the scheduled Senate inquiry next week on the alleged franchise violations committed by ABS-CBN broadcast network is “not unconstitutional.”

Pangilinan stressed this in response to the claim of House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano that the Senate will violate the Constitution if it will push through with the said public hearing on February 24.

Senator Grace Poe, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Public Services, earlier stood pat on her decision to inquire on the controversy hounding the renewal of ABS-CBN’s franchise which is set to expire on March 30.

“Parliamentary practice plus our own rules allows it. Hindi totoong unconstitutional or iligal ‘yung hearing sa Lunes,” he said.

“It is certainly consistent with the law and parliamentary practice,” Pangilinan said.

He added, “As former majority leader, holding parallel hearings in the Senate on bills that should emanate from the HoR such as the budget bill, tax bills or franchise messures is standard parliamentary practice for decades now.”

“What’s important is that the Senate will not approve any committee report until the lower house comes out with its own recommendation first,” he said.

“Saan ba ang venue ng franchise? Di ba sa kongreso? Sa Senado at sa House of Representatives? Dapat silang bigyan ng venue dahil kami ang maga-apruba ng kanilang prangkisa,” Pangilinan said.

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