Makabayan Lawmakers File Bill Seeking ABS-CBN Franchise

ABS-CBN has been off the air for two years.
Photo/s: Eloisa Lopez, Reuters

The Makabayan bloc of progressive congressmen have filed a bill seeking a fresh franchise for ABS-CBN, which ceased broadcasting on free TV in 2020.

Granting ABS-CBN a franchise will be a test of President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.'s campaign promise of unity, ACT Teachers Rep. France Castro told CNN Philippines.

Before he stepped down last June 30 and handed the reins of government to Marcos, former President Rodrigo Duterte said he really "targetted" ABS-CBN, whom he had accused of biased reporting, which the network denied.

Marcos earlier said he would let Congress decide on the fate of the ABS-CBN franchise.

Castro said that by granting a new franchise to ABS-CBN, Congress will "defy the rising tyranny, to stand for freedom and democracy" at a time when disinformation and 'fake news' reign.

"This is the time actually para hamunin o to challenge this administration and even those in Congress, kung paano talaga titingnan nila ang press freedom and giving jobs lalo na sa ating mga mamamayan ngayon na walang trabaho, at alam din naman natin na mahirap ang buhay," Gabriela party-list representative Arlene Brosas told ANC.

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