Press Release
February 23, 2020

Statement of Sen. Sonny Angara on the Committee on Public Service's hearing on the ABS-CBN franchise tomorrow

There is no violation of the Constitution with regard to the hearing of the Committee on Public Services on the issues surrounding the franchise of ABS-CBN scheduled for tomorrow.

Section 24 of the 1987 Constitution or what is known as the "origination clause," provides that all private bills, such as the approval of franchises, "shall originate exclusively in the House of Representatives." The same provision in the Constitution also includes appropriation, revenue or tariff bills, bills authorizing increase of the public debt and bills of local application.

It has been the long-standing practice of the Senate to hear such bills while waiting for the House of Representatives to act on these and transmit them to the Senate for its concurrence.

Matagal na ginagawa ng Senado na simulan ang pagdinig sa mga mahahalagang panukala tulad ng ating national budget bago pa man ito ipadala ng mababang kapulungan. Taon-taon natin ito ginagawa upang mapabilis ang proseso ng pag apruba, lalo na ng mga napakahalagang batas tulad ng GAA, ganun din sa mga tax bills.

As explained in Tolentino v. Sec. of Finance, the origination clause in the Constitution merely requires the Senate, acting as a body, to withhold any action on a private bill still pending in the House of Representatives.

The hearing by the committee is only meant to facilitate the process and in the case of the franchise of ABS-CBN, to hear the issues being raised against the network so that when the time comes, we as senators would already have a better grasp of the matter. No action will be made in plenary until such time that the House of Representatives acts on the bill and sends it over to us.

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