Senators defend ABS-CBN franchise hearing on Feb. 24

first_imgSenate President Vicente Sotto IIIsaid the Senate does not violate the Constitution with the conduct of thehearing, as claimed by House of Representatives Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano. MANILA – Senators have defended thehearing to be conducted by the Senate public services committee of Sen. GracePoe on the franchise renewal of the ABS-CBN Corp. on Monday. Section 24, Article VI of the 1987Constitution states that “all appropriation, revenue or tariff bills, billsauthorizing increase of the public debt, bills of local application, andprivate bills shall originate exclusively in the House of Representatives.” “Nagtatakalang ako kay Sen. Grace Poe at sa mga senador. Kapag Cha-cha (Charter change) ang pinag-uusapan, ayaw nila. Huwag daw munapag-usapan,” Cayetano said in an ambush interview. He added: “A committee report becomesSenate business. Committee chairpersons are authorized to hear what theircommittee thinks should be heard. It remains their committee business.” Sen. Panfilo Lacson, for his part,said Cayetano’s point may be valid since the Constitution provides that billsof local application like franchise measures must emanate from the House. “Though since as practiced, we conductcommittee hearings on tax and budget measures even before the House hastransmitted their approved version of bill to the Senate,” Lacson said.center_img There are 11 pending measures seekingto renew the franchise of ABS-CBN for another 25 years, but the House Committeeon Legislative Franchises has yet to hold a single hearing to deliberate them./PN Cayetano said on Thursday that underthe 1987 Constitution, all bills related to granting a legislative franchiseshould emanate from the House of Representatives, not from the Senate. What can be considered as blatantlyviolative of the Constitution is if the committee chairperson reports out onthe Senate floor for plenary debates the committee report which we have notdone and will never do, he added. “Not at all. Besides, the hearing isfocused on the resolutions filed re: ABS, not whether we should approve itsfranchise or not,” Sotto said in a statement. PHOTO BY BUSINESS WORLDlast_img

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