The Senate hearing headed by Senator Grace Poe and Uy6 Senate committee on public services held on Monday, February 24 brought an enlightenment about the much-talked-about ABS-CBN franchise renewal to the public.
The current President and CEO of ABS-CBN Corporation Carlo Katigbak maintained his calmness throughout the hearing despite the tension and intimidating questions thrown at him as the leader of the company.
He revealed his humble side when he kept referring to himself as one of the 11,000 employees of the network. And to the surprise of the many, Katigbak also apologized to President Rodrigo Duterte regarding an offending political advertisement in 2016 which led him to repeatedly criticized the network.
ABS-CBN clears alleged Violation of laws
The Senate hearing revealed that ABS-CBN did not make violations of any of its franchise provisions. This was supported by The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR)who claimed the network has regularly filed taxes. The DOLE stated that ABS-CBN has no violations in terms of handling its employees. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said they “are not aware of any violation of any ongoing complaint or investigation involving ABS-CBN.”
ABS-CBN franchise expires on May 4, 2020
The DOJ Secretary also clarified that ABS-CBN’s will end its 25-year franchise on May 4, 2020 and not on March 30. He added that the network may still continue to operate regardless if its franchise will expiration on May 4.
Artists and journalists support ABS-CBN franchise renewal
The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) together with the8 a platform for free speech and exchange of ideas. The DGPI said they believed in ABS-CBN’s contribution to the arts and continued progress and development of Philippine entertainment and media.
The broadcast giant has also found allies with Senators Lito Lapid and Manny Pacquiao and, unexpectedly, Bato dela Rosa. He was recently criticized for favoring ABS-CBN’s shutdown disregarding the future of its 11,000 employees as compared to the entire Filipinos. Bong Go said that he will ask the President to reconsider his stand on the network’s franchise renewal.
The House panel which is tasked to act on the franchise renewal of ABS-CBN said it will ask parties involved to submit their position paper on the issue despite Congress’ plans of canceling it.
Solicitor General Jose Calida’s petition to Supreme Court is now put in question for ABS-CBN has finally cleared allegations of its violations of the law. But Supreme Court has yet to approve or reject the quo warranto petition against the network.
Even with the explosion of revelations in the Senate hearing, it seems that deeper issues like freedom of the press and due process are not yet fully tackled. Although, the hearing, thankfully headed by Poe, provided a great amount of information from ABS-CBN’s side.