ABS-CBN did not use its connection with Kris Aquino when the presidential sister was a talent of the network to get its franchise renewed during the time of President Benigno ‘Noynoy’ Aquino III, according to the network’s top officials.
When asked by Rep. Michael Defensor if ABS-CBN sought Kris’ help, ABS-CBN chairman Mark Lopez and ABS-CBN president and CEO Carlo Katigbak said they never spoke to Kris to push for the network’s franchise renewal during the Aquino administration.
For Defensor, Kris could have been instrumental in helping ABS-CBN get its franchise renewed.
Katigbak said, “The prerogative to grant or deny a franchise rests solely on Congress. While we’re here to prove the committee that there is a good reason why our franchise should be renewed, at the end of the day, we respect the rule of law.”
The bill seeking to renew ABS-CBN’s franchise was first filed in the 16th Congress (2013-2016) with only one hearing conducted by the House committee on legislative franchises, according to Rep. Micaela Violago, one of the current bill sponsors of ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal.
Violago said she filed a bill in the 17th Congress (2016-2019), but there was no committee hearing conducted in the House. She filed again in the 18th Congress (2019 to present), but pointed out that the committee hearings only started in March 2020.
Meanwhile, Defensor’s showbiz-like interpellation as how Rep. Jose Antonio Sy-Alvardo described it after, was also the talk of the town among netizens.
The next committee hearing on ABS-CBN’s franchise application is set on June 17.
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