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Palace accepts House panel’s rejection of ABS-CBN franchise renewal

Malacañang on Friday accepted the decision of the House of Representatives legislative franchises committee to deny the franchise renewal application of media giant ABS-CBN Corp.

“Much as we want to work with the aforesaid media network, we have to abide by the resolution of the House committee,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in a statement.

Roque also said the denial of the application was the “sole prerogative of Congress that we in the Executive recognize.”

He reiterated that the Palace maintained a neutral stance on the issue despite President Rodrigo Duterte’s past grievances against the company, particularly on the unaired campaign advertisements in 2016.

“We respect the decision of Congress. The Executive doesn’t intrude on the affairs of an equal branch. Both sides of the issues have been heard,” added Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo.

“We leave it to the collective wisdom of the committee apropos its denial of the renewal of franchise.”

A total of 70 congressmen voted in favor of the denial, 11 backed the application, two inhibited and one abstained.

ABS-CBN has been reportedly losing up to P35 million in advertising revenues a day since the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) issued an order on May 5 to stop its broadcast operations after the company’s franchise expired on May 4.

The NTC also directed ABS-CBN last week to stop digital TV transmission using Channel 43 and its subsidiary Sky Cable Corp. to stop its direct broadcast services due to a lack of congressional franchise. -MDM, GMA News