By the Staff

MANILA — Despite calls to immediate decide on ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal issue, committee hearings at the House of Representatives were canceled this week.

Good Government and Public Accountability (GGPA) Chairman Jose Antonio Sy-Alvarado said the cancellation was purposefully made so as to give time for parties involved to submit necessary documents being requested by committees hearing the network’s franchise petition.

“Binibigyan po natin ng oras na makapagsumite ng dokumento ang iba’t ibang panig kasi… napakarami pa pong kulang sa dokumento na hinihiling po ng mga komite natin. At kung wala po yung mga dokumento na yan baka po mag-kapahiyaan lang po o mag-away-away sa committee, iniiwasan po natin (We are giving parties time to submit documents because there are a lot of documents that the committees are requesting. And without those documents, there might be conflict or fights in the committee, we are avoiding that),” Alvarado said.

Two hearings, particularly the 8th and 9th hearings on ABS-CBN’s franchise bill were initially scheduled for today, Tuesday (23 June 2020) and Wednesday (24 June 2020).

The joint-committees of the GGPA and Legislative Franchises were slated to discuss alleged violations of ABS-CBN including the use of multiple channels, TV Plus boxes, and pay-per-view offerings.

It was gathered that Buhay party-list Rep. Lito Atienza on Monday has suggested to Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano to consider putting the issue on hand to a vote as no violations have been proven in previous.

According to Atienza proceedings at the House had been taking too long with the issues raised against the network have been discussed exhaustively, with “competent” agencies such as the Department of Justice, the Bureau of Immigration and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Matters that are yet to be discussed are alleged violations on labor, tax, and elections laws. (ia/