Congressmen urged to vote on ABS-CBN franchise based on public interest

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Congressmen should vote on bills regarding the ABS-CBN franchise based on "the interest of the people who elected them to power," an analyst said Tuesday.

"Maybe the congressmen should vote according to the interest of the people who elected them to power. Maybe the congressmen should vote taking into account what people need And what people need is access to information," Marichu Lambino, media law and ethics expert at the University of the Philippines.

"Maybe they hate ABS-CBN but they should not base it on their personal emotions," she said.

House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano on Monday said he was seeking a "conscience vote" among his colleagues, who grilled ABS-CBN officials about news coverage during the 12th Congress hearing into the network's license application.

The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) on May 5 shut down ABS-CBN's free television and radio services despite its earlier commitment to let the network stay on air while lawmakers deliberated on its license renewal.

Last week, the NTC also closed down ABS-CBN's digital broadcast, following the advice of Solicitor General Jose Calida, who in February sought to nullify the franchise of the network due to alleged abuses.

The shutdown "has deprived more than 69 million Filipinos of the kind of information, analysis and commentary, and public service provided by ABS-CBN News," including migrant workers, and those without internet connection and are reached solely by the network's signal, Integrated News chief Ma. Regina Reyes told lawmakers.

ANC, July 7, 2020 is the official news website of ABS-CBN Corp.

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