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Sotto: Why the need for concurrent reso for ABS-CBN franchise?

Senate President Vicente Sotto III on Tuesday wondered why a concurrent resolution is being asked from Congress to allow ABS-CBN Corporation to operate after the expiration of its franchise in May. 

Sotto said they were never asked for such in past cases of expired franchises.

“I’m just wondering why they want a resolution from us when in the previous expired franchises they never asked for one. Why are they placing the burden on us? They should be decisive enough to act,” he said in a message to reporters.

It is the National Telecommunications Commission that has the power to allow ABS-CBN continue its operation after the expiration of its franchise.

“Bakit gusto nila ipasa sa amin? There were many other controversies last year and the years before that regarding franchises. ‘Yung sa Iloilo last year hindi naman kami tinanong eh pinag-aawayan ‘yun, ‘yung Globe, ‘yung Smart,” Sotto said when asked to comment on the plan of Minority Leader Franklin Drilon to file a concurrent resolution.

During the hearing of the Senate public services committee on Monday, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said Congress may authorize the NTC to allow ABS-CBN to continue operating if its franchise expires before lawmakers could act on its application for renewal.

"It is therefore respectfully submitted that the Congress, by concurrent resolutions, may authorize the National Telecommunications Commission to issue a provisional authority subject to such terms and conditions as the NTC may deem fit to ABS-CBN and other entities who are similarly situated, authorizing them to continue operating subject to the Congress' eventual disposition of the renewal application," said Guevarra.

Sotto said the senators will discuss first the concurrent resolution to be filed by Drilon— RSJ, GMA News