ABS-CBN franchise denied by House

Citing numerous violations, a recommendation was adopted by the House Committee on Legislative Franchises rejecting further bills on the ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal.

After voting 70 to 11, the House committee on Legislative Franchises moved to adopt the recommendation of the technical working group discussing the franchise of ABS-CBN.

Before the hearing, twelve other committee meetings were held in which other violations said to be committed by the media giant were discussed.

Among the violations cited by the representatives are the issuance of Philippine Depository Receipts, foreign ownership, tax avoidance, and use of a dummy company.

Last February 10, 2020, Solicitor General Jose Calida filed a quo warranto against ABS-CBN seeking to revoke its franchise through the Supreme Court. According to Calida, ABS-CBN has allowed foreign ownership through the issuance of Philippine Depositary Receipts (PDRs) similar to the case filed against Rappler in 2018.

A hearing just last month was conducted to probe the nationality of ABS-CBN chair emeritus Eugenio “Gabby” Lopez III. According to lawmakers who rallied behind the closure of the media company, Mr. Lopez is not eligible to own and manage a media company since he is a dual citizen. The Department of Justice attested on the other hand that Mr. Lopez is a Filipino eligible to the management of ABS-CBN.

According to House Deputy Minority Leader Rep. Carlos Zarate, a motion for reconsideration may be filed by a member who voted with the majority.

 

No such appeal has been received by the House of Representatives as of writing.

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