Duterte 'not interested' in Senate hearing on ABS-CBN franchise — Panelo

Duterte 'not interested' in Senate hearing on ABS-CBN franchise — Panelo
Duterte at the Inauguration of the Sangley Airport Development Project

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte delivers a speech on February 15, 2020. ALFRED FRIAS/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte is “not interested” and will not likely monitor the Senate hearing on issues surrounding the franchise of media giant ABS-CBN.

Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo on Sunday said that the President has a lot of work to do on the day of the hearing, which is set on Monday.

“Hindi interesado si Presidente, maraming trabaho si Presidente, too many work,” he said in an interview over Radyo INQUIRER.

(The President is not interested. He has too much work to do.)

The Senate committee on public services, which is headed by Senator Grace Poe, will hold a probe into the compliance of ABS-CBN with the terms and conditions of its franchise.

This is after Solicitor General Jose Calida filed before the Supreme court a quo warranto petition calling for the cancellation of the media conglomerate’s franchise for violating its terms and the Constitution.

Panelo reiterated that the Malaca?ang had nothing to do with the filing of the petition, which calls for the revocation of the franchise on account of? alleged foreign ownership and the bypassing of authority of the National Telecommunications Commission.

“Trabaho ng [Solicitor General] ‘yan, hayaan mo siyang gawin ang trabaho niya. Kung anong sabihin ng Korte Suprema eh, susunod lang tayo,” he said.

(That’s the Solicitor General’s work. Let him do his job. Whatever the Supreme Court will say, we will abide with it.)

He added that the Palace will not interfere with the proceedings of Congress, let alone the Senate, especially when its leadership decided not to hold a session to give way for the ABS-CBN franchise renewal hearing.

The franchise of ABS-CBN is set to expire on March 30 this year.

The House Committee on Legislative Franchises has yet to hold a hearing on the 11 bills seeking for the franchise’s renewal.

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