A veteran journalist made an open letter addressed to Palawan, First District Representative Franz Alvarez who’s going to handle the discussion over the franchise renewal of ABS-CBN.
In the letter, Jay Sonza mentioned the alleged violations made by ABS-CBN in the past years so it could help Alvarez to address those issues when they already started discussing whether or not the television network deserved a franchise renewal.
Sonza also urged Alvarez to invite all parties concerned in his committee if he really wanted to give a fair chance to the television network.
Here’s what Sonza said in his open letter:
“Rep. Franz Alvarez
Chairman, Franchise Committee
House of Representatives
Dear Mr. Alvarez,
You said your committee would like to give abs-cbn and all parties concern, a fair chance in the committee deliberation on the franchise renewal issue.
I would like to help you by advancing these issues against the company, to wit:
1. violation of the social amelioration laws on social security, housing and universal health care.
– non payment of the mandatory SSS contrubution for all the employees regardless of status from day one of employment. A criminal offense.
– non payment of the mandatory philhealth contributions for all the employees of the network.
– non remittance of the mandatory pagibig fund contributions for all the employees.
– non payment of the mandatory contributions in the employees compensation for all the employees.
2. Violation of Labor Laws and practices and union bustings
– There are more that 20 different labor cases/complaints against the company for various violation of existing labor laws.
3. Violation of the law on women and children.
4. Violation of the Revenue Code of the Philippines. Tax evasion and tax avoidance cases against the network.
5. Violation of the national security and patrimony of the nation
6. Violation of the foundation and charitable institution laws and regulations.
7. Violation of Trade and Commerce laws, rules and regulation.
8. Violation of the Omnibus Election Law, rules and regulations.
9. Violation of the national telecommunication law, rules and regulations.
10. Violation of the Congressional Franchise granted to the company.
If you are true to your word, invite all parties concerned into your committee hearings so that your members can be properly informed, educated and enlightened.
Failure on your part to hear the testimonies and peruse the documents against the network could only mean that you and your committee members were bought with monies and other considerations by the lobbyist.
Thank you and more power,”
The franchise of ABS-CBN is set to expire in March 2020 and President Rodrigo Duterte is still stating that he wanted the television network to close for good.
Despite the criticisms threw by the President against ABS-CBN, Rep. Alvarez said that they’re still going to discuss the franchise renewal of the television network giant.
“The advice of Speaker Alan (Peter Cayetano) to us was to make sure that we would be always fair and impartial in reviewing the application of ABS-CBN, or the application of any other public utility, for that matter. At the same time it is Congress’ duty to accept complaints and hear issues brought up in any contain or objection,” Alvarez said in a statement on Saturday.
“But we should all be reminded that under the law, the grant of a franchise is not a right, but a privilege. This is why we have to hear all sides and find out if ABS-CBN violated the provisions of its franchise,” he added.