What’s the urgency in granting ABS-CBN franchise? we should respect the Law -JPE

What’s the urgency in granting ABS-CBN franchise? we should respect the Law -JPE

Former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile is hitting the headlines for his opinions that are detrimental and against the Lopez controlled ABS-CBN Corporation.

Enrile questions the need for Congress to act with urgency on the passage of the legislative franchise of the giant media network, he reiterates that it would be a grave act if it will be granted a provisional authority.

Enrile was one of the resource person invited by the Senate committee on public services’s deliberations on the franchise bill of the broadcast giant.

Screen grabbed from the Senate committee hearing regarding the ABS-CBN franchise

“Alam mo, Mr. Committee Chairman, hindi ko maintindihan, ano ba ang urgency nung prangkisa na ibibigay sa ABS-CBN? Tapos na yung termino nila, negosyo dapat ihinto,” he said during the hearing presided by Senator Sherwin Gatchalian.

(You know, Mr. Committee Chairman, I don’t understand, what is the urgency in granting the franchise to  ABS-CBN? Their term has expired, their business must stop.)

“Ngayon, ang urgency ba nyan ay dahil kailangan malaman ng ating mga kababayan ang nangyayari sa ating bansa? My God, the nooks and corners of this republic is rich. Not by television but by radio. Our people know whats going on all over the country because of radio,” he said.

The former Senate President scholarly points that the question of communication and information is not an issue but compliance with the law.

“The issue here is we must comply with the Constitution. We must comply with the laws. We must follow the rule of law in the country so that huwag naman parang nilalaro yung Saligang Batas natin,” he claimed.

Can Congress grant a provisional franchise to operate?

Enrile warns Congress in its action of granting a 5 month provisional bill, as it is directly against the Constitution.

“In the case of ABS-CBN, the law says, your privilege to engage in the business of mass media broadcasting will end on May 4, 2020. Period,” he said.

“It can’t go beyond that and everything must stop. Congress must exercise the power of legislation either to  terminate it, really as it has been terminated by law itself or extend it… No other power in our government has the right to extend it a minute or a second. The law must be obeyed, the Constitution must be observed  against anybody in this  country,” he added.

“There must be a certain degree of permanence in the grant of any legislative action. It can’t be ad hoc. We are not a delegated power like NTC (National Telecommunications Commission) that you can exercise quasi-judicial power or quasi-legislative power… If Congress can grant a temporary franchise, what is the compelling reason for it not to grant a permanent franchise with a reasonable period of 25 years?” he opined.

“If you think there is a  national emergency, why don’t you ask President Duterte to certify the bill so that you can shorten the period of deliberation?” Enrile said.

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Report from PDI

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