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Lagman to Cayetano: ‘Thanks for seeing light’ on railroaded ABS-CBN franchise bill

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Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman thanked Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano for “seeing the light” in reverting House Bill 6732 back to the plenary for second-reading deliberations after railroading the measure last Wednesday.

“I laud Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and the House leadership for seeing the light on the need to reconsider the approval on second reading of H.B. 6732 granting a provisional franchise to ABS-CBN on the same day it was passed on first reading,” he said.

Lagman had argued that the passage on first and second reading of the bill on the same day on May 13 violates Sec. 26 (6) of Art. VI of the Constitution “which unequivocally requires three reading on separate days for a bill to become a law, unless certified urgent by the President.”

“I hope Cayetano and the other House leaders will also see the light of expediting the consideration of the numerous bills proposing for a 25-year renewal of the network’s franchise before the proposed brief interim franchise expires,” he said.

Lagman said the hearings on the franchise renewal bills should be calendared soonest to enable ABS-CBN to explain or traverse its alleged franchise violations and ventilate all other related issues once and for all.

“I am informed that until now the management of ABS-CBN has not been notified to answer the purported accusations on franchise violations,” he said.

“Time is of the essence and grave consequences should be foreclosed before the interim franchise would expire without any final congressional action on the ill-fated ABS-CBN franchise,” Lagman said.