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Drilon: People’s initiative available remedy for ABS-CBN

Hananeel Bordey

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Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon on Monday affirmed the suggestion of some lawyers to use people’s initiative as a “cure” to ABS-CBN’s denied franchise application, saying that it is “an available remedy” following the House Legislative Franchises Committee’s rejection of the media network’s 25-year franchise application.

“The Constitution and the law do not exclude the enactment of a franchise, and does not make any distinction on the kind of law that can be enacted directly by the people through a people’s initiative,” said Drilon.

“Where the law does not distinguish, we should not distinguish,” he added.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III, on the other hand, said that he doubts the possibility of people’s initiative as a remedy to revive ABS-CBN’s franchise application, as a private bill is mandated by the Constitution to be exclusively under the House of Representatives.

“Another doubtful issue is if [Commission on Elections] has funds for it. The proponents should first check on the Constitution,” said Sotto.

Last week, a lawyer drafted a petition seeking ABS-CBN’s franchise through people’s initiative.

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