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Palace won’t interfere in Senate inquiry on ABS-CBN

By Genalyn Kabiling

Malacañang will not interfere with the planned Senate inquiry on the compliance of media giant ABS-CBN with its franchise rules.

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo (OPS / MANILA BULLETIN)

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo (OPS / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said on Thursday that the Senate has the prerogative to conduct an investigation in aid of legislation and that the Palace would not meddle in the work of an independent branch of government.

“That is part of the Senate function, investigation in aid of legislation. We do not interfere with the work of an equal branch of government,” Panelo said in a message to reporters Thursday.

Senator Grace Poe has filed a resolution seeking an inquiry on the ABS-CBN operations to determine compliance with the terms and conditions of its franchise.

Poe, chair of the Senate Committee on Public Services, said that under the network’s franchise, it could be subject to amendment, alteration, or repeal by Congress for public interest.

The proposed inquiry on the network’s operations comes amid the looming expiration of the television network’s franchise on March 30. The House of Representatives has yet to act on the bills seeking to renew the ABS-CBN franchise.

The Office of the Solicitor General has filed a quo warranto petition against the TV station before the Supreme Court. The government lawyer asked the High Court to revoke the congressional franchise of ABS-CBN for allegedly violating the franchise terms as well as the Constitution.

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