TWO House leaders who are among the authors of bills pushing for the renewal of ABS-CBN’s franchise welcomed the filing of quo warranto petition against the television company saying the issues to be raised will guide Congress in deliberating on the franchise bills.
Deputy Speakers Aurelio “Dong” Gonzales and Rose Marie “Baby” Arenas both said the findings in the quo warranto petition will be used by the House of Representatives in discussing the renewal of ABS-CBN’S franchise.
There are 11 bills for the ABS-CBN renewal of franchise pending at the House Committee on Legislative Franchises and not a single hearing has been conducted.
The ABS-CBN franchise to operate will expire on March 30. Congress will adjourn on March 20.
“We see this process as beneficial to the House of Representatives, as any finding as a result of the said case would greatly contribute in the deliberation of the application for the renewal of ABS-CBN’s franchise.
For her part, Arenas said the filing of a quo warranto petition against the television network is a formal disclosure of the position of the government with respect to the renewal.
“While it is my view that only Congress holds the sole authority in granting and revoking legislative franchises, this petition will, in fact, put forth all the questions and issues surrounding this matter, and hence enable a more enlightened a spirited discourse. In the interest of due process, we should entertain all,” Arenas stress.
Meanwhile, Isabela Rep. Antonio “Tonypet” Albano, vice chairman of the committee on legislative franchise, said ABS-CBN can still continue its operation because the franchise renewal bills are still pending in the 18th Congress.
Albano further explained that the television company can still operate because they were able to submit their application before their franchise expires.
“May I remind the public that even if the ABS-CBN’s franchise expires on the said date on March, it does not mean that ABS-CBN will close completely because the rule of thumb, and I believe this in the committee – and we were briefed on this – is that while this 18th Congress is still ongoing, hindi po titigil ang services ng ABS-CBN hanggang po matapos ang 18th Congress,” Albano added.