Congress to probe IBC-13 and RPN-9 franchises
Camille Diola (The Philippine Star) - December 6, 2012 - 2:46pm

The House of Representatives will investigate government-owned television stations International Broadcasting Corp. (IBC Channel 13) and Radio Philippines Network (RPN Channel 9) for perceived violations on their franchise.

Resolution No. 2854, which is on its way to be approved on third and final reading, directs the House Committee on Legislative Franchise to review the status of the two networks  that entered agreements with other broadcast companies that are in conflict with their state grant under Republic Act 8954.

The law states that legislative franchises like the two TV stations may not sell, assign nor lease rights and privileges to any other entity without Congress approval, as such linkages can lead to conflicting interests with third parties.

The directive’s principal author Rep. Giorgidi Aggabao of Isabela said in a statement on Thursday that IBC entered several agreements in the past such as with Vintage Television and with Prime Realty, an affiliate of a huge constructing firm that built Broadcast City.

RPN also had a joint venture with Solar Entertainment Corporation in 2011 and sold 24 percent of its shares to Kitchie Benedicto, Aggabao said.

The Benedictos previously owned the two stations as cronies of former President Ferdinand Marcos until President Corazon Aquino seized both companies for the government.

Through the resolution, Aggabao asked House committee officials to probe and report on the issue,  reiterating President Benigno Aquino III’s announcement in 2011 that IBC and RPN will eventually be privatized.

Once the privatization is final, People’s Television or PTV Channel 4 will be the only government-controlled network.

AGGABAO BROADCAST CITY GIORGIDI AGGABAO OF ISABELA HOUSE COMMITTEE INTERNATIONAL BROADCASTING CORP KITCHIE BENEDICTO LEGISLATIVE FRANCHISE PRESIDENT BENIGNO AQUINO PRESIDENT CORAZON AQUINO PRESIDENT FERDINAND MARCOS PRIME REALTY
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