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Stop talking and start working – De Lima on ABS-CBN franchise renewal

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Detained Senator Leila de Lima stated that the resumption of ABS-CBN’s broadcast will serve as a “test” because the Congress is still discussing its franchise renewal, last May 7.

On May 5, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) released a cease and desist order against ABS-CBN prompting the network to shut down and turn off immediately.

“All is not lost for ABS-CBN. There are available legal remedies. [It will be] Another test for our courts,” De Lima added.

In accordance to the law, the Congress was only allowed to grant or revoke the network’s franchise. 

Several lawmakers have noted that according to legal matters on a media franchise, ABS-CBN is expected to continue its operations even after the expiration of its franchise.

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“The ABS-CBN forced shutdown is another abominable illustration of the weaponization of the rule of law to serve personal ends of vendetta and power-tripping,” De Lima said.

“It breaks my heart to see that the very same tyranny that caused the gross injustice against me finds another victim and further erodes the democracy that we have worked so hard to build,” said the senator who has been detained in Camp Crame since 2017.

The senator also noted that the jobs of ABS-CBN’s 11,000 employees depend on the House of Representatives by deciding on the network’s franchise renewal bill which has been pending since 2014.

“I continue to urge my colleagues in the legislature to put their money where their mouth is and make this happen,” De Lima said.

De Lima even challenged the Congress to stop talking and begin working on ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal bill. The franchise renewal bill of ABS-CBN has been pending for 6 years already.

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