By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN
Two more solons recently filed proposed legislations that seek to grant network giant ABS-CBN a fresh 25-year franchise starting in March 2020.
House Deputy Speaker Vilma Santos-Recto and Batangas Rep. Sol Aragones were the latest members of the House of Representatives who filed the Kapamilya network’s application for franchise renewal under House Bill 4035 and House Bill 3947 respectively.
Their actions came with less than a year before the 65-year old network’s present legislative franchise under Republic Act No. 7966 lapses.
Deputy Speaker Rose Marie “Baby” Arenas (Pangasinan) and Parañaque Rep. Myra Joy Tambunting also filed similar measures last month.
Nueva Ecija Rep. Michaela Violago spearheaded the campaign for the ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal after refiling the said measure under House Bill 676 last July.
The measure failed to hurdle during the 17th Congress after it was failed to tackle by the House Committee on Legislative Franchises under the Palawan Rep. Franz “Chicoy” Alvarez.
President Rodrigo Duterte on many occasions has threatened ABS-CBN that he will veto its franchise renewal if ever it will hurdle congressional approval.
Article 12 Section 11 of the 1987 Constitution states that “Neither shall any such franchise or right be granted except under the condition that it shall be subject to amendment, alteration, or repeal by the Congress when the common good so requires.”
Under the present charter, the application for franchise is done through a normal legislative process in both the Lower House and Senate and is still need to be signed by the President after its Congressional approval.