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Drilon nilektyuran si Cayetano sa ABS-CBN franchise

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IDINIPENSA ni Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon ang desisyon ng Senado na dinggin na ang aplikasyon para sa prangkisa ng ABS-CBN Corporation habang tinutulugan pa rin ito ng Kamara sa pamumuno ni Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano.

Ayon kay Drilon, walang lalabagin na batas ang Senado taliwas sa naunang pahayag ni Cayetano na ‘unconstitutional’ ang gagawing pagdinig ng Senate Committee of Public Services na pinamumunuan ni Senadora Grace Poe.

“We are saddened by the accusation. That is not true. There is nothing wrong and unconstitutional if we hear the franchise of ABS-CBN,” pahayag ni Drilon.

Inungkat ni Drilon ang kaso ni Tolentino vs Secretary of Finance (G.R. No. 115455), na nagsasabing hindi pini­pigilan ng Konstitusyon ang Senado sa pagdinig habang hinihintay pa nito ang bersyon ng Kamara.

“We’ve done it for the national budget and other revenue measures. We’ve heard proposals while waiting for the House version,” sabi ni Drilon.

“The House of Representatives is aware of this practice. Since time immemorial, we have been hearing the budget simultaneously with the House of Representatives only that we do not debate on this on the floor until we receive the House version,” paliwanag pa nito.

“Our former colleagues who are now members of the lower chambers knew about this practice and they participa­ted in hearings of this nature when they were in the Senate. They did not say it was unconstitutional then,” dagdag pa ni Drilon.
Ayon pa kay Drilon, nakasaad sa Section 24, Article VI ng Konstitusyon na lahat ng mga appropriation, revenue o tariff bill, bill of local application, at private bill ay kailangang manggaling sa Kamara subalit maaaring magpanukala na mag-concur ang Senado sa anumang pag-amyenda ng isang panukala.

“The matter has been settled in the above-mentioned case wherein the Sup­reme Court upheld the power of Senate to file and hear local bills, so long as action by the Senate as a body is withheld pending receipt of the House bill,” paliwanag pa ni Drilon.

Sabi pa nito, napakahalagang madinig na ang franchise bill lalo na’t pitong session day na lang ang natitira bago mag-adjourn ang Kongreso sa Marso 11.

Binigyang-diin pa nito na dapat na ring desisyunan sa pagdinig kung kinakailangan bang palawigin na ang validity ng prangkisa ng ABS-CBN dahil hindi na maaaring magpatuloy pa ang operasyon nito lalo na’t mapapaso ang prangkisa sa Marso 30. (Dindo Ma­tining)

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