After rejection of network’s legislative franchise, solons appear headed to extend probe on ABS-CBN

Published July 18, 2020, 4:50 PM

by Ben Rosario

After knocking ABS-CBN out of its broadcast business, congressmen who were behind the rejection of the network’s legislative franchise appeared headed to go for the jugular.

ABS-CBN network headquarters in Quezon City (Photo by Maria TAN / AFP / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

Deputy Speaker and 1Sagip Partylist Rep. Rodante Marcoleta, together with Reps. Michael Defensor (Anakalusugan) and Crispin Remulla (NP, Cavite), gave this signal during a podcast on Friday. 

The anti-ABS-CBN lawmakers were joined in the zoom meeting by Deputy Speaker and Laguna Rep. Dan Fernandez and  Reps. Yedda Marie Romualdez (Tinggog Partylist) and Jose Antonio Sy-Alvarado (NP, Bulacan).  

Sy-Alvarado is the chairman of the House Committee on Good Government that jointly conducted the 12-day ABS-CBN hearings with the Committee on Legislative Franchises.

Owned by the Lopez family, ABS-CBN lost its bid for a fresh 25-year congressional franchise following a vote of 70-11 conducted by the legislative franchise panel chaired by Palawan Rep. Franz Alvarez.

The decision rendered jobless at least 11,000 ABS-CBN employees, most of them already suffering from the impact of the COVID 19 crisis.

During the podcast livestream, the participating solons discussed anew the issues they raised against the network which were deemed resolved when the the House voted against the grant of a new franchise.

This drew anew the ire of netizens as they questioned the objective of the solons who have already won their bid to stop ABS CBN from returning on the air.

However, Defensor raised a new issue against ABS CBN who he alleged of  having occupied the compound of the Joint US Military Advisory Group in Quezon City through questionable means.

Defensor stressed the need to look into the circumstances that led to ABS-CBN’s ownership of the JUSMAG compound which is located in the network’s main studios in Quezon City.

The partylist solon said this issue should be included in the continuation of the probe of the good government panel on the network.

On the other hand, Remulla said the operations of the Big Dipper and Amcara broadcasting, firms owned by the Lopezes, should also be reviewed by the committee.