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House junks ABS-CBN franchise petition

TDT

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The House Committee on Legislative Franchises on Friday rejected a new broadcast franchise for ABS-CBN Corp., permanently shutting down a major part of one of the country’s largest media network.

The committee’s vote resulted to 70 yes, 11 no, one abstention and two inhibitions, which dashed the hopes of the network giant to resume operations under a new franchise.

The House committee has voted to deny the application of ABS-CBN Corporation for a franchise to construct, install, establish, operate and maintain radio and broadcasting stations in the Philippines.

“By no means can this franchise application be related to press freedom,” said the findings of a technical working group that prepared the resolution. “It is what it is — a denial of a privilege granted by the State because the applicant was seen as undeserving of the grant of a legislative franchise.”

The vote came after the House legislative franchise and good government and public accountability committees held 13 hearings tackling various issues such as citizenship of the network’s chairman emeritus Gabby Lopez, alleged labor violations, tax-evasion, as well as alleged political bias, among others.

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