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Congresswoman Vilma Santos to file bill to revive ABS-CBN’s franchise



Following the filing of the new Senate bill seeking for the renewal of ABS-CBN’s franchise, actress-turned-politician Vilma Santos-Recto on Monday said she would also file her version of the measure at the House of Representatives.

The Batangas congresswoman said she would ask her chief of staff to prepare and file the measure before 18 January, the day the House is set to resume sessions.

Santos-Recto, a Deputy Speaker in the Lower House, was one of the 11 congressmen who voted in favor of the renewal of the legislative franchise of the media giant six months ago.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III was the first to file the measure Monday afternoon in hopes that ABS-CBN will have “better chances” with the leadership of House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco, who assumed the post last October.

[Related story: Sotto files bill reviving ABS-CBN franchise; sees better chance under ‘new Speaker’]

The House Committee on Legislative Franchises last July 2020 junked the franchise application of ABS-CBN network.

This was after 70 lawmakers denied its application while 11 favored it.

One has abstained while two inhibited, including another actor-politician Quezon City Rep. Alfred Vargas, who was included in the list of lawmakers accused by the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) for alleged corruption mentioned by President Rodrigo Duterte last week.

Following the cease and desist order imposed by the National Telecommunications Commission on 5 May 2020, a day after its franchise has expired, it has gone off the air.

ABS-CBN, nevertheless, remained very active in its digital platforms and was able to air some of its programs on A2Z Channel of Zoe Broadcasting Corp.