Wed. Jan 19th, 2022

MANILA – Citing a “very clear” violation of an article in the Constitution on House resolutions, Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez said Friday he will move to recall the approval on second reading of the “rail-roaded” HB 6732 seeking to grant ABS-CBN a provisional franchise.

The resolution, with Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano as principal author and co-authored by 14 other lawmakers, was recently passed on first and second reading on the same day, which, according to Rodriguez a clear violation of the Constitution.

The lawmaker said that it is “very clear” in the Constitution that no bill passed by the Senate or House shall become a law unless it has passed three readings on (three) separate days.

Rodriguez said that “this is contained in Article VI Section 26. (2) of the Constitution which states that “(n)o bill passed by either House shall become a law unless it has passed three readings on separate days, and printed copies thereof in its final form have been distributed to its Members three days before its passage.”

An exception to this is when the President certifies to the necessity of its immediate enactment to meet a public calamity or emergency like the Bayanihan Law amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Opposition stalwart in Liberal President Sen. Kiko Pangilinan also voiced the same concern as Rodriquez’s in an earlier interview Friday.

It may be recalled that on May 13 the lower chamber convened into a Committee of the Whole (COTW) to tackle House Bill No. 6732, granting ABS-CBN a provisional franchise until October 31, 2020.

Following the COTW’s approval, deliberation on HB 6732 immediately ensued and it was consequently approved in the first reading and speeded on like train approved on second reading in less than an hour on the same day.

“May pro and (opposition), so if we pass this kind of a law that may have violated the Constitution, sayang,” Rodriguez said.

“The people who are against it can go to the court to declare it unconstitutional. So therefore, best way is to cure this on Monday to open it for amendments then we vote again so this could be another day from Wednesday,” Rodriguez said adding his motion to recall the approval of the bill was his proposed amendment that was not included in the measure.

He said that his proposed amendment is in relation to Section 4 of House Bill No. 6732 mandating the network to provide “public service time.”

“(I want) to remove this requirement that there should be public service time — ten percent of the commercials and advertisements shall be given free to the executive, legislative, judiciary, and constitutional commissions,” Rodriguez said.

“That is, I believe, unequal protection of the law because other issued earlier including the 1995 franchise of ABS-CBN does not contain that,” he added. (ia/

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