Press Release
February 17, 2020

Transcript of Interview with Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon

Q: On ABS-CBN franchise

SFMD: It is almost certain that on April 1, 2020, the Solicitor General will question the continued operation of ABS-CBN with the expiration of the franchise on March 30, 2020. With that eventuality then it is a legal debate. In the meantime, there is no franchise. On March 30, you have 11,000 families who would have no livelihood. Therefore as a temporary measure, we filed Senate Joint Resolution 11 that will allow the ABS-CBN to operate at least for the next three years or up to December 2022 in order to have time to deliberate on the franchise of the ABS-CBN. If you do not do this, in six weeks time the continued existence of the ABS-CBN is open to question. I am conscious that in Congress there is a view that the pendency of the franchise renewal can be the basis for the continued existence of the AS-CBN. That is the view that has to be confirmed by the Supreme Court, and, in the meantime, there is no franchise come April 1.

Q: Itong resolution, kailangan ng concurrence ng HoR?

SFMD: Yes, because it will have the effect of the law. As I said, there is a view in Congress that the franchise can continue to exist until June 30 of 2022, but there is no final judgment on that by the Supreme Court. When the Supreme Court will say that the franchise can continue up to June of 2022, well, good. But if not, we will have problems.

Q: How hopeful are you that you will get the support of the HoR knowing na inuupuan nila ito?

SFMD: I am not certain that they will support. That is a responsibility that they have to bear with 11,000 people losing their jobs on March 30.

Q: If you get the concurrence, ma-extend na po yung franchise?

SFMD: When we get the concurrence, then the franchise will be extended unless the President vetoes it.

Q: Kailangan pa yung signature ng Presidente?

SFMD: Yes.

Q: On the view that ABS-CBN can continue to operate beyond March 30.

SFMD: That's a view that is expressed in Congress, but the legal basis must be passed upon by the Supreme Court. There are views that say that the extension of up to June 2022 would need a temporary permit from the NTC and the NTC is part of the executive branch under the supervision of the President. Given the position of the President, I doubt whether the NTC will allow that extension.

Q: With the VFA, anong steps na po yung na-take ng Senate?

SFMD: The Senate President has advised me that he has started working on the petition and we support that petition, because it has never been settled in our jurisdiction. The petition that we filed two years back questioning the Philippines' withdrawal from the ICC is still pending in the SC.

Q: Are we questioning the withdrawal from the VFA of in general na?

SFMD: The ruling on the VFA, or even the ruling on the ICC for that matter, will set the rule or will set the standard.

Q: May mga ibang senator na hindi raw supportive?

SFMD: The Senate President, to my understanding, has decided to go to the Supreme Court and that is why I am asking our colleagues to support our Senate President.

News Latest News Feed