DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The United Arab Emirates has announced plans to grant some foreigners citizenship to this oil-rich nation home to Abu Dhabi and Dubai. It’s part of efforts to stimulate its economy amid the coronavirus pandemic. The UAE previously gave citizenship to Palestinians and others who helped form the country’s government after its formation in 1971. Others have received it over time as well. Saturday’s announcement by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai, said the offer could apply to artists, authors, doctors, engineers and scientists, as well as their families.
The TWG report stated that the Filipino citizenship of ABS-CBN chairman emeritus Eugenio “Gabby” Lopez III was doubtful. The company’s Philippine Depositary Receipts (PDRs) also “appear to have been utilized to allow foreign ownership,” which is a violation of the 1987 Constitution. MANILA – Several lawmakers are planning to revive the junked ABS-CBN legislative franchise by bringing it to a plenary vote when the House of Representatives session resumes today. “Laying on the table simply means that committee will no longer further take action on the measures. But the plenary can take action on those measures,” said Lito Atienza of Buhay partylist. For Atienza, the House should scrutinize the committee’s 40-page technical working group (TWG) report, which recommended the denial of ABS-CBN’s bid for a fresh franchise, because it was allegedly predetermined. “The committee in its vote to kill or deny the application for franchise is definitely not on the right of side [of history], but the House as a whole may pagkakataon pa by way of correcting the mistake of the committee,” Fortun said. Agusan del Norte 1st District Rep. Lawrence Fortun, for his part, also voiced reservations on the TWG report, which lawmakers noted was put together at great speed despite lengthy and grueling hearings and swiftly approved by the committee’s regular and ex-officio members in a vote on July 10. This plan hatched in a Zoom meeting among House members who supported ABS-CBN’s bid for a fresh legislative franchise over the weekend as they agreed that the House Committee on Legislative Franchises committed a huge error. “This is a very dangerous direction for our country where Congress starts to behave as the prosecutor, the judge, the jury and the executioner, all rolled into one,” Atienza added. “Bulatlatin natin ‘yung report. Tignan natin word for word, phrase by phrase, sentence by sentence, kung saan sila naligaw. Dahil malinaw ‘yung 12 hearings, wala silang napatunayan,” he said. It also stated that “ABS-CBN’s labor practices are less than exemplary” and that the prescribed process of the Lopez family’s reacquisition of the network after martial rule “was not followed.” ABS-CBN went off air on May 5 after the National Telecommunications Commission issued a cease and desist order against the network after its previous franchise expired the day before./PN