House Speaker Cayetano admits 'issue' with ABS-CBN's franchise renewal

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 7) — House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano admitted that he has issues with the bid of media giant ABS-CBN Broadcasting Network to renew its franchise, which is set to expire on March 30 next year, citing the unfair air time given to some vice-presidential candidates in 2016.

“Narinig niyo na sa ating Pangulo, ako mismo. Apat kaming naimbitahan na vice president candidate sa DZMM,” said Cayetano. “Yung isa, nilabas sa 6:30 news, sa Bandila, sa Umagang kay Ganda, and lunchtime. Yung dalawa sa amin, DZMM and then Bandila. Yung isa sa amin, DZMM, hindi lumabas sa iba. So may mga katanungan kami o issues.”

In the 2016 elections, Cayetano ran as the running mate of Davao City's then Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, who went on to win the presidency.

The House Speaker said that committees can deliberate on the network’s franchise renewal for another 25 years but it is not a priority of the chamber for now.

“The committees are free to hear pero ang priority at focus natin ay yung revenue bills para mabayaran ang magagandang programa ng gobyerno at yung budget. Eh hindi pa tayo tapos sa dalawang yun,” said Cayetano. “But we will get to it. I guarantee to you we will get to it and we will have fair and open hearings.”

Some lawmakers,both in the Senate and House of Representatives, have filed bills seeking to renew ABS-CBN's franchise. Nueva Ecija Rep. Micaela S. Violago filed House Bill 676 and Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph G. Recto filed Senate Bill No. 981.

CNN Philippines' Xianne Arcangel and Vince Ferreras contributed to this report.