House reconsiders the ABS-CBN provisional franchise bill

House reconsiders the ABS-CBN provisional franchise bill

The House of Representatives did the unthinkable that is it decided to backtrack on the bill which was passed on second reading that will eventually if signed into law will give the Lopez controlled ABS-CBN 5 months provisional franchise.

Sensing the flaws on the way its railroaded to second reading, a motion by Deputy Majority Leader Wilter Palma, the House reopened the floor deliberations on House Bill No.6732 on second reading “due to the request of members who wish to make interpellations and amendments.”

“The main reason is transparency, due process and fairness,” according to the bill’s sponsor, Deputy Speaker Luis Raymund Villafuerte Jr., who said the House of Representative leadership was prepared to hear all proposed amendments to the measure.

(photo credit to PNA)

The proposed bill, spearheaded and authored by Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and seven other House leaders, would allow the Lopez controlled ABS-CBN to go back on the air until Oct. 31.

Constitutionality of the proposed bill was questioned.

Opposition lawmaker Edcel Lagman argues that the House act of railroading it to second reading violated 1987 Constitution in approving the bill on first and second reading on the same day, as bills should be passed on first to third reading on three separate days.

But the Deputy Speaker said what the Charter required in passing bills was “three readings on separate days, not three separate days.”

He also cited a number of precedents in which Congress passed joint resolutions on first and second reading on the same day. But that drew another rebuttal from Lagman, who noted none of those measures were bills.

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Report from PDI

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