Atienza on pending ABS-CBN franchise renewal hearing: Lawmakers afraid of Duterte

Lito Atienza, Buhay party-list representative said Tuesday that there is a slow development on the hearing of ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal because members of Congress are afraid of President Rodrigo Duterte.

Atienza added that the hearing on the renewal of the country’s largest network is still on hold because they don’t want to disobey the orders of the President, who threatened to shut ABS-CBN Corporation down after not airing his paid political advertisements during the 2016 election campaign.

ABS-CBN’s franchise is set to end on March 2020 and the bill seeking for its renewal have been pending in the House since August 2019.

The lack of action, according to Atienza boils down to the Congress being ineffective.

Atienza is one of 25 lawmakers who filed a bill to renew ABS’s franchise.

The Senate will be having a hearing on February 27 to discuss the Joint Resolution passed that will enable ABS-CBN to extend its operations till 2022, Grace Poe, chair of Committee on Public Service confirmed.

Franklin Drilon, Senate Minority Leader said that the resolution will give time for the Senate and the Congress to discuss the renewal of the franchise.

“More than 11,000 employees will go home jobless and millions of viewers will be affected if we do not act on this resolution immediately,” Drilon said.

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