Solon reminds ABS-CBN granting of franchise 'privilege, not a right'

Solon reminds ABS-CBN granting of franchise 'privilege, not a right'

The grant of legislative franchise to a television network is not a vested right but merely a privilege given by the state to such entity.

Palawan 1st district Rep. Franz Alvarez, chair of the House Committee on Legislative Franchises, said allowing television broadcast giant to continue its operations is a “privilege”, not a “right.”

“The advice of Speaker Alan (Peter Cayetano) to us was to make sure that we would be always fair and impartial in reviewing the application of ABS-CBN, or the application of any other public utility, for that matter. At the same time it is Congress’ duty to accept complaints and hear issues brought up in any contain or objection,” Alvarez said.

(photo credit to owner)

“But we should all be reminded that under the law, the grant of a franchise is not a right, but a privilege. This is why we have to hear all sides and find out if ABS-CBN violated the provisions of its franchise,” he added.

Alvarez also clarified that the Constitutionally protected right to press freedom is not relevant to the grant of a legislative franchise, such as the grant of one to ABS-CBN , one of the giant media firms in the country.

“The issue involves the franchise renewal of ABS-CBN. There is no attempt to muzzle or control the media here so do not try to make this a press freedom issue when it is not,”  Alvarez said.

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Report from PDI

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