The House of Representatives is hell-bent on making sure ABS-CBN does not go back to free TV as they schedule an inquiry into the network’s 44,000-square-meter property in Quezon City.
SAGIP Partylist Representative and Deputy House Speaker Rodante Marcoleta recently launched an inquiry into the authenticity of ABS-CBN’s Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) via House Resolution 1058.
The hearing is set for September 23, nearly two weeks after the National Telecommunications Commission took back all of ABS-CBN’s frequencies.
According to the agenda posted on the House of Representatives website, the inquiry comes after the technical working group (TWG) recommended that Congress look into it “as a consequence of the decision taken by the Committee on Legislative Franchises on the franchise application of ABS-CBN Corporation.”
The recommendation stems from allegations that ABS-CBN’s TCT was not found in the Register of Deeds of Quezon City.
Marcoleta repeatedly asked ABS-CBN executives for the original copy of the network’s TCT as ABS-CBN was only able to show a copy. The copy itself, according to Marcoleta and the TWG, showed that ABS-CBN owned a measly 42 square meters of its 44,000 square-meter broadcasting compound.
After hearing of the report, Kapamilya talents have expressed their concerns that the government is really out to prevent ABS-CBN from ever re-establishing its broadcasting company.
Di lang kakayahang mag-broadcast ang gustong silipin.https://t.co/bVamdq1bKL
— Anjo Bagaoisan (ᜀᜈ᜔ᜇᜒᜌᜓ ᜊᜄᜏᜒᜐᜈ᜔) (@anjo_bagaoisan) September 18, 2020
Ito inuuna nyo. Tapusin nyo muna ang philhealth at ang iba pang kinukwestiyon ng COA. Pera ng bayan muna ang hanapin nyo! https://t.co/LbTPMdxwwq
— ogie diaz (@ogiediaz) September 17, 2020
Eagle-eyed netizens have agreed with the sentiments of the Kapamilya talents, even going as far as saying Congress—particularly Marcoleta—is more focused on taking over ABS-CBN’s properties than help with crafting better disaster response policies.
Some have even criticized the lawmaker for not speaking out on issues surrounding PhilHealth.
Another lawmaker, however, made it clear back in July that the government will not be able to take over ABS-CBN’s properties unless Congress goes to court.
Takeover ABS CBN property? Private property is constitutionally protected. Possession is given weight. There is a venue, the courts; and there is due process. Bawal judgemental!
— Tito Sotto (@sotto_tito) July 23, 2020
Whether this is a ploy of Rep. Marcoleta to aid the Duterte administration in forcibly taking over ABS-CBN property—and possibly secure support from the President—is anyone’s guess.