Senator Grace Poe will recuse herself from voting on bills seeking ABS-CBN franchise renewal because her mother, actress Susan Roces, is starring in one of the broadcasting network's programs.
The films of Poe’s late father, actor Fernando Poe, Jr., are also regularly shown over ABS-CBN.
Poe, who filed a Resolution seeking Senate probe on ABS-CBN’s compliance on its existing franchise and allowed the network to address allegations leveled against it, said her push for the renewal of ABS-CBN's franchise has never been about her family's ties with the network or her family’s interest.
“Hindi ikalulugi ng aming pamilya kung mawawala ang franchise ng ABS-CBN. Pero ang debateng ito ay para sa maliliit na empleyado na hindi na maa-absorb sa ibang kumpanya [kapag nagsara ang ABS-CBN],” Poe said in defending her yes vote on four Senate Resolutions backing ABS-CBN's continued operation under a provisional authority granted by the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC).
“‘Yung unang hearing ko, oversight iyon, not about granting of the franchise. Now, this is a vote for the Resolution expressing the sense of the Senate that the NTC should issue a provisional permit [to operate] if the franchise ends in the middle of that Congress, not only for ABS-CBN but for others to come [in the future],” she said.
“From here on, kung sakaling palarin ang ABS-CBN at magkaroon ng [sapat na] boto sa House at matransmit rito, I will inhibit myself as chairman [of the Senate Committee on Public Services] from voting for the approval of that franchise because I am confident that we will have the votes here from the discerning colleagues of ours,” Poe added.
The Senate eventually adopted the four Resolutions expressing the sense of the Senate that the NTC should allow ABS-CBN to operate under a provisional authority pending the approval of its franchise by Congress.
ABS-CBN’s franchise is set to expire on May 4.
Prior to the Senate probe, Solicitor General Jose Calida filed a quo warranto petition seeking to void the existing ABS-CBN franchise before the Supreme Court, accusing it of violating the foreign ownership ban and bypassing government regulations.
ABS-CBN has maintained that it did not violate any law. — BM, GMA News