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Thursday, February 27, 2020

It’s up to Lower House to tackle ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal, says President Duterte

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte answers queries from members of the media following the oath-taking of the new officials of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and presentation of the 12th Ani ng Dangal awardees at the Malacañan Palace on February 26, 2020. SIMEON CELI JR./PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Wednesday said he will leave ABS-CBN’s impending franchise renewal to Congress adding he has accepted the media network’s apology.

“I have kept a healthy distance from… It’s now in — that they are deliberating in Congress, the Lower House and the Senate. And there’s a plan that they would pass a joint resolution something,” President Duterte said in an interview regarding ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal.

“But fundamentally, really, ang decision nasa House ngayon. Not so much of the Senate because the Constitution says all of these things must originate from the Lower House.”

He also vowed not to interfere with the work of Congress on the issue.

At the same time, the President said he can’t do much about the quo warranto petition filed by the Office of the Solicitor General at the Supreme Court.

“Ang problema kasi nitong sa SolGen, once he makes an official statement that there is a violation of law, then estopped na ako. Parang hindi na ako makagalaw,” the President said.

“I cannot tell him to stop. The SolGen can only announce that there is a violation of law and that he is going to investigate it. Well, hindi ko masabihan, ‘Do not do it. Stop it.’”

With regards to the P2.6 million that the ABS-CBN intends to return, the President advised the network to donate the money to any charitable institution of its choice.

The President also told reporters that he has asked agriculture officials to come up with a protocol to control the spread of African Swine Fever (ASF) in the country.

The prohibition of some local government units on the passage of meat cargoes in their jurisdiction might create confusion that’s why a guideline is necessary, according to the President.

Localities that are declared free of the disease must be certified so that they can ship their meat products, he added.

“Kasi ‘yung iba ayaw pa ipadaan eh. They do not allow the cargoes of the pork meat to pass the highways that traverse the local government units, magulo ‘yan,” he said.

“So kung may tatak na, ‘yung wala at meron pa ‘yung swine fever, eh ‘di huwag na muna.”

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