WE need to know the truth and the people must hear it.
This was stressed by Sen. Grace Poe at the hearing yesterday of the Senate Committee on Public Services on the franchise of broadcast networks including ABS-CBN.
“We are emphasizing that this hearing is part of the power of the Senate as stated in the Constitution which is not contrary to the decision of the Supreme Court on the jurisdiction over the hearing of franchise and simultaneous discussion of the issue,” Poe said.
“Although franchise bills usually emanate from Congress or the House, there is nothing new with parallel hearings for the speedier legislation especially of the President’s priorities like the budget and TRAIN law,” underscored Poe.
Poe is certain of the authority of the Senate to hear the resolutions concerning ABS-CBN.
“There are many who want to prevent this hearing or are questioning this hearing, but the Senate is insisting on its authority as a co-equal branch of a government of a republic and democracy.
“We must maintain the balance and separation of powers,” Poe said.
Poe cited the many franchises given provisional authority by the NTC after their expiration.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra assured Poe the NTC will observe “equity” as it did with the previous franchises.
Poe pointed out that there is no provision in the law on franchise concerning the grant of provisional authority by the NTC to those still undergoing the process of renewal which makes it imperative to uphold “equity” for the good of the many.