[DOCUMENT] House panel’s working group recommends rejecting ABS-CBN’s franchise

Mara Cepeda

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(2nd UPDATE) The House committee on legislative franchises says ABS-CBN's alleged violations 'weighs heavily against' the network's franchise application

EMBATTLED NETWORK. ABS-CBN supporters hold a vigil outside the network's Quezon City headquarters on July 9, 2020. Photo by Angie de Silva/ Rappler

MANILA, Philippines (2nd UPDATE) – The 3-person technical working group of the House committee on legislative franchises recommended to reject the franchise application of embattled media network ABS-CBN on Friday, July 10. 

Rappler obtained a copy of the still-unnumbered resolution, along with the 40-page report of the 3-person technical working group (TWG) formed by the House committee on legislative franchises that consolidated the findings of the mother panel after the extensive 13 hearings on the media giant’s franchise.

“Now therefore, be it resolved as it is hereby resolved, that the members of the Committee on Legislative Franchises deny the application of ABS-CBN Corporation for a franchise to construct, install, establish, operate and maintain radio and broadcasting stations in the Philippines,” the resolution read.

The committee members (regular and ex-officio) who were present, physically or through video call, cast the following votes: 70 to adopt the rejection, 11 to dismiss the rejection, 2 to inhibit, and 1 to abstain. (READ: House committee rejects franchise for ABS-CBN

Committee secretariat Portia Silang clarified on Saturday, July 11, that 3 lawmakers actually inhibited and no one abstained. 

Palawan 1st District Representative Franz Alvarez, committee chairperson, presided over the hearing, but did not cast his vote. Committee chairpersons usually do not vote on measures unless a tie needs to be broken. 

The resolution was based on the TWG report crafted by Cebu 3rd District Representative Pablo John Garcia, Camiguin Representative XJ Romualdo, and Marikina 2nd District Stella Quimbo.

Quimbo, however, signified “I dissent” on top of her signature, which means she disagees with the report and would have wanted the committee to approve ABS-CBN’s franchise.

The TWG report said ABS-CBN’s alleged violations of its franchise – from supposed foreign ownership to breaches of tax laws – convinced lawmakers to junk its franchise application.

“This committee finds that the foregoing, taken collectively, weighs heavily against the grant of legislative franchise to ABS-CBN,” said the TWG report.

Read a full copy of the still-unnumbered resolution junking ABS-CBN’s franchise below:

Read a full copy of the findings and recommendations of the House committee on legislative franchises’ TWG group below:


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Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda specializes in stories about politics and local governance. She covers the Office of the Vice President, the Senate, and the Philippine opposition. She is a 2021 fellow of the Asia Journalism Fellowship and the Reham al-Farra Memorial Journalism Fellowship of the UN. Got tips? Email her at mara.cepeda@rappler.com or tweet @maracepeda.