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Joint resolutions extending ABS-CBN franchise to create more problems —Cayetano

As far as Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano is concerned, the House joint resolutions seeking to extend the franchise of ABS-CBN will create more issues and problems than provide a solution.

In an interview with reporters in Taguig City, Cayetano said the joint resolutions filed separately filed by Cebu City Representative Raul Del Mar and Cagayan De Oro City Representative Rufus Rodriguez may only raise issues on validity and legality.

"It's not that we don't want, we don't need the joint resolution at kapag sinalang mo ang joint resolution, argument na naman 'yan. Anong validity niyan? Until the end of the year or until 2022? Will it become a precedent? So from now on, will we be granting a 2-year, 3-year franchise instead of 25-year franchise?" Cayetano said.

"[They are] good ideas, don't get me wrong kay Rep. Del Mar and kay Rep. Rufus, but it will create more issues and more problems. So ngayon very simple ang aming directive sa NTC, naghi-hearing pa kami, 'wag niyong isara 'di ba? Ganoon lang kasimple," he added.

Under Del Mar's proposal, the ABS-CBN's existing franchise will be extended until the end of the 18th Congress on June 30, 2022. Rodriguez, meanwhile, only wants it extended for one year from the May 4 expiry date.

Both lawmakers are arguing that the remaining number of session days before the Lenten break on March 13 will no longer allow Congress to hear the pending franchise bills before the current one expires on May 4.

It was only on Monday that Committee on Legislative Franchises chair Franz Alvarez announced that the panel is now open to accepting position papers for or against the renewal of the ABS-CBN franchise, signalling the start of the proceedings of the chamber on the matter.

He said that once all positions papers have been taken into consideration, the panel can formally start deliberating on the ABS-CBN franchise renewal bills. This, however, could take place either in May or in August, after President Duterte's State of the Nation Address.

Meanwhile, Cayetano advised those who want to shut down ABS-CBN to just wait for the House hearings to ensure fairness.

"Sinasabi natin naging unfair sa Duterte camp ang ABS, let's not be unfair to ABS. Let's not do unto others what we think they did unto us," he said.

"Lastly, mag-file sila. By that time naman may mangyari sa ipa-file nila, naghi-hearing na kami sa Mayo 'di ba? So sa akin, may prosesong nakalatag, allow us to do our work," he added. —LDF, GMA News