'None of complaints' vs ABS-CBN 'are fatally defective' on its franchise – Recto
MANILA, Philippines — Allegations against ABS-CBN?– including its critical coverage of politicians – are not “fatally defective” on its franchise, according to Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto, even expressing Wednesday that he is in favor of extending the operation of the media network giant.
Recto said he has “seen the complaints more or less.”
“I’m in favor of extending the franchise of [ABS-CBN],” he told reporters in an interview.
“And I think none of these complaints are fatally defective that it would warrant not to extend the franchise. Insofar as the complaints filed, right? ‘Yung (The) quo warranto (petition),” he also said.
On February 10, Solicitor General Jose Calida personally went to the Supreme Court and filed a that seeks to nullify ABS-CBN’s legislative franchise. The government’s chief lawyer accused the country’s largest broadcasting company of engaging in “abusive practices” and violating franchise terms.
Specifically, Calida claimed that ABS-CBN violated the Constitution when it issued Philippine Depositary Receipts (PDRs) to foreigners through ABS-CBN Holdings Corporation.
He also accused the network of “broadcasting for a fee” when it operated a pay-per-view channel (KBO Channel) in its ABS-CBN TV Plus cable product purportedly without approval or permit from the National Telecommunications Commission.
But ABS-CBN has maintained it did not violate any law governing its franchise and that it had secured all necessary approvals for its business operations.
In the same interview, Recto was asked about allegations from several politicians that ABS-CBN has been supposedly unfair in its election coverage.
“I don’t know about siding with politicians. I’ll put it this way. Here in the Senate, I think all of us natamaan na rin ng (got hit by) ABS-CBN, wala naman dito palagay ko hindi natamaan din (nobody here I think was spared), but I don’t think that’s fatally defective on their franchise, or for any other media network. Trabaho ninyo ‘yan eh (That’s your job). You’re the fourth estate,” the senator pointed out.