Controversial lawyer and Marcos loyalist Larry Gadon wrote to Senate President Vicente Sotto III to express his disapproval of the Senate bill 1967.
In July 2020, the ABS-CBN failed in its bid for a franchise renewal after the lower chamber voted to reject it. Since then, the Kapamilya network has shifted to digital platforms like YouTube and Facebook.
Months later, it has sealed a partnership deal with the ZOE network, eventually rebranded as A2Z, allowing them to air some programs and shows.
At the beginning of 2021, Kapamilya supporters had renewed hopes as Senate President Vicente Sotto III filed a Senate bill reviving the network’s franchise. It was supported by Rep. Vilma Santos-Recto, whose refiled the franchise renewal bill in Congress.
Sotto believes that bringing back ABS-CBN will reestablish the competition between the TV networks. He also recognized the network’s wide reach that is vital in news delivery.
He also considered the audience share result of Kantar Media in 2019 which shown that ABS-CBN garnered 45%, 14% higher than the rival network, GMA Network.
However, the audacious Gadon disproved Sotto’s claim and therefore urged the latter to withdraw the Senate bill.
Gadon wrote a letter addressed to Sotto advising him to retract the SB because the TV ratings data are “old and antiquated” so it is not true anymore.
The lawyer also believes that the SB is technically and legally flawed.
“Mr. President, it is very elementary that a franchise can be renewed only if it is still subsisting, during its term, or prior to its expiration. It is rather basic that an expired franchise cannot be the subject of a renewal,” he said.
“Your good self should take cognizance that ABS-CBN Corporation had ceased to operate and had ‘signed off the air’ on the night of May 5, 2020. Clearly, the purpose for which Republic Act No. 7996 had already been accomplished. Thus, it is very clear that there is nothing more to renew!” he added.
Gadon is known to be one of the adversaries of ABS-CBN. To recall he asked Supreme Court to block the network’s plea for a temporary restraining order when National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) released a cease-and-desist order against it.
Prior to this, he also requested the NTC to stop issuing a temporary authority that will allow the network to continue its broadcasts.
After a series of hearings last year, lawmakers failed to prove that ABS-CBN has a violation. Despite this, the majority of Congress voted against the franchise renewal.