The continuing saga of the ABS-CBN franchise took another interesting turn on Wednesday. Here are the stories making the headlines on ANC today:
Distancing himself from Solgen
President Duterte has accepted the apology of ABS-CBN President and CEO Carlo Katigbak over a campaign ad in the 2016. The Chief Executive also said he was leaving the renewal of the network’s franchise up to the House of Representatives. On the quo warranto case filed against the network, Duterte distanced himself from Solicitor General Jose Calida, saying the Solgen does not report to him. Meanwhile, the House Committee on Legislative Franchises has asked the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to grant provisional authority to ABS-CBN to operate beyond the expiration of its franchise.
A wedge between Houses
The issue of the ABS-CBN franchise has also driven a wedge between the House of Representatives and the Senate. Sen. Grace Poe responded to remarks of House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano that those who attended the Senate hearing on the network’s franchise were “sipsip,” or trying to ingratiate themselves to the network. In what could be one of this year’s political quotable quotes, Poe said “name-calling cheapens the debate.” Even in the Senate, sparks are flying. Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said the claims of neophyte Sen. Bong Go that the concurrent resolution he filed seeking the extension of the network’s operations were “political.” Drilon countered that the resolution does not deprive the president of his powers to approve or veto a franchise.
Ashes to ashes
Due to COVID-19 fears, Ash Wednesday, an important Lenten ritual for Filipinos, was marked differently by the Catholic faithful, with some electing to have ashes sprinkled on their head rather than the usual ash mark on their forehead. Also, Filipino tourists are barred from travelling to South Korea for the meantime. Meanwhile, San Francisco has declared a state of emergency despite the fact that no one there has been infected yet. The numbers of the infected are still growing in Europe and the Middle East
Jolting the business scene
Metro Pacific Investment Corp. Chair Manny Pangilinan sent a jolt through the business community when the company said it would “recast” its investment program and look towards “less risky” ventures. Its water unit, Maynilad, is under the government’s microscope for its allegedly onerous concession deal, hence, the need to shift gears.
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