The bills renewing the franchise of TV5 Network Inc. and the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines have lapsed into laws as President Rodrigo Duterte did not act on them within the period set by the Charter.
Republic Act (R.A.) 11320 extends for another 25 years the broadcast franchise of TV5. Meanwhile, RA 11319 granted the CBCP a 25-year franchise extension “to construct, install, establish, operate and maintain radio and or television broadcasting stations in the Philippines for religious, cultural and commercial purposes.”
President Rodrigo Duterte’s signatures were missing on the measures. Instead, the copies bear a stamp stating that both bills had lapsed into laws on April 22.
Under the Constitution, any bill that is neither signed nor vetoed by the Chief Executive will automatically lapse into law 30 days after it was submitted by the Congress to the Office of President.
A president can either sign a law, veto it entirely or in part, or not act on it until it lapses into law.
Copies of the laws were sent to Palace reporters yesterday, July 18.
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo defended Duterte for not acting on the bill.
“If he allowed it to lapse, that means it’s okay with him. It’s like he signed it. That’s what happens when the President allows those bills to pass, that means he’s okay with it,” Panelo said.
Meanwhile, the Palace was quiet on the franchise renewal of ABS-CBN, leaving the matter to the 18th Congress.
“The ball is in the hands of the Congress. Not to the President,” Panelo said.
Duterte has threatened to block ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal for the network’s supposed “biased” reporting toward him.
He also claimed that the network did not air his political advertisements as 2016 presidential candidate when his campaign team had paid for them.
The network’s franchise will expire next year.