Dean of Graduate School of Law comments on Drilon’s reso to grant provisional permit for ABS-CBN to continue its broadcast ops past expiry of its franchise

ICYMI, Senator Franklin Drilon said on Tuesday he will file a concurrent resolution urging the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to grant ABS-CBN Corp a provisional authority to continue its broadcast operations past the expiry of its franchise. [Link]

In response to Senator Drilon’s senate resolution, Cebu City 1st District Rep. Raul del Mar has filed a resolution seeking to extend the validity of ABS-CBN Corp’s broadcast franchise until 2022.

Are Senator Drilon and Congressman Del Mar correct?

Well, let us read the recent Facebook post of Fr. Ranhilio Callangan Aquino, Dean of Graduate School of Law at San Beda College, Mendiola to get our answer.

In a Facebook post titled, “ON THE ABS-CBN FRANCHISE”, Aquino answered some issues surrounding the franchise renewal of the Kapamilya Network.

Aquino talked about the Constitution which clearly states that “private bills” can originate only from the House of Representatives.

Aquino explained that a private bill is a bill that relates to a particular person (granting him citizenship) or a corporate entity (such as a franchise).

Aquino cited the case Tolentino v. Secretary of Finance, wherein the Supreme Court held that “originate” means “to be initiated by”.

Therefore, “whatever legislative measure is taken to renew or grant or deny a franchise to ABS-CBN must be initiated by the House of Representatives,” Aquino wrote.

Aquino remarked that “since a franchise is the very requisite legislative grant of authority to operate, then absence of a franchise (owing to denial of application, or expiry of franchise or withdrawal thereof) can only mean that there is no authority to operate.”

And here’s the part that should answer our question if Senator Drilon is correct. Aquino wrote that, this being a power of Congress, no administrative agency such as the NTC can supply what Congress has not provided. This would either constitute undue delegation were Congress to allow this, or usurpation of legislative functions, were NTC to insist on this power. I believe we clear on this issue.

To answer the question if a concurrent resolution from Senator Drilon and Congressman del Mar will do the hat trick, Aquino has the say on the matter. “A concurrent resolution will not do. If the Legislature wishes to grant a franchise, this must be granted through the proper statutory vehicle — which is the passage of law.”

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Source: Ranhilio Callangan Aquino

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