What happened? ABS-CBN, TV5 briefing removed from House panel’s agenda

Published August 17, 2022, 7:38 PM

by Ellson Quismorio

The briefing on the recent deal between the shuttered ABS-CBN and TV5 has been removed from the agenda of the House Committee on Legislative Franchises meeting that was scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 18.

The House plenary (Ellson Quismorio/ MANILA BULLETIN)

This was discovered by House reporters on Wednesday night, Aug. 17, just minutes after they were told by the Press and Public Affairs Bureau (PPAB) that the supposed briefing would be held in an “executive session”.

An executive session is a meeting involving lawmakers that isn’t open to the media.

Originally, the legislative franchises panel was supposed to convene at 2 p.m. Thursday. The two items on the agenda were an organizational meeting–a normal occurrence since it was the panel’s first meeting in the 19th Congress, and the briefing on the two networks’ controversial deal.

“Briefing by concerned offices on the reported purchase agreement between ABS-CBN Corporation and TV5 Network, Inc.,” read the second item that was listed on the agenda Wednesday morning.

Now, only the organizational meeting remains on the agenda.

Parañaque City 2nd district Rep. Gus Tambunting, a veteran solon, chairs the Committee on Legislative Franchises.

Another House veteran, SAGIP Party-list Rep. Rodante Marcoleta, has been lambasting the ABS-CBN-TV5 deal on various fora, as he questioned the legality of such venture.

The House rejected ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal application in 2020. It has been off the air ever since.