ABS-CBN's ‘taking sides is not a franchise violation per se’ -Lagman

ABS-CBN's ‘taking sides is not a franchise violation per se’ -Lagman

Albay representative and ABS-CBN ally Edcel Lagman has put forward a reasoning for those who want the non-renewal of the legislative franchise of ABS-CBN.

He said that media “taking sides” is not necessarily a direct violation of the franchise of the network.

The Albay representative made the remark after House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano issued a statement claiming that ABS-CBN took sides in the 2010 and 2016 elections.

Albay Representative Edcel Lagman
(photo credit to owner)

“Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano appears to be mistaken when he implied that since ABS-CBN ‘took sides in the 2010 and 2016 elections’, the renewal of its franchise is imperiled,” Lagman said in a statement,

Lagman is the author of a resolution, House Resolution No. 639 that urges the lower chamber of Congress to immediately hear the pending 11 bills which all calls for the franchise renewal of the country’s largest media network.

As of February 17, the resolution has already gathered the support of 91 lawmakers.

“Granting that the network took sides, taking sides is not a franchise violation per se,” the lawmaker added.

“Freedom of the press affords media outlets “sufficient latitude to telecast and broadcast their sentiments supporting or opposing certain advocacies, issues, and personalities,” according to Lagman.
“The limitation is that the telecast or broadcast must not be libelous or must not constitute a criminal offense,” Lagman explained.

Citing ABS-CBN’s franchise, Lagman said ABS-CBN is not prohibited to take sides in its exercise of press freedom and freedom of expression.

The legislator said the franchise only states that ABS-CBN is enjoined “not (to) use its stations for the broadcasting of obscene and indecent language, speech, act or scene, or the dissemination of deliberately false information or willful misrepresentation to the detriment of the public interest, or to incite, encourage, or assist in subversive or treasonable acts.”

“Aside from providing the public with information, public service, and entertainment, a broadcasting network is a catalyst for the formation of differing opinions,” Lagman pointed out.

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Report from PDI

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