Sotto files fresh bill to revive ABS-CBN franchise

Senate President Vicente Sotto III has filed a measure seeking to renew the legislative franchise of television giant ABS-CBN.

In filing his senate bill, Sotto cited the importance of television as the main source of information for most Filipinos as shown in a September 2020 Social Weather Station survey that said 69 percent or 45.8 million adults use television as a primary source of news.

ABS-CBN’s broadcast operations were ordered shut on May 5 last year, following the expiration of its legislative franchise, in compliance with the closure order of the National Telecommunications Commission.

In July, the House of Representatives’ committee on legislative franchises voted overwhelmingly to deny ABS-CBN’s bid for a fresh 25-year franchise, an outcome that President Rodrigo Duterte had promised would happen because of the network’s failure to air his 2016 presidential election campaign advertisement and its supposed biased reporting.

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