MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines’ biggest television network will lose its franchise next year, vowed President Rodrigo Duterte in a fresh rant against “oligarchs” on Tuesday, December 3.
“Ang iyong franchise mag-end next year. If you expect ma-renew ‘yan, I’m sorry. I will see to it that you’re out,” said Duterte during a speech in front of new government officials at Malacañang.
(Your franchise will end next year. If you expect it to be renewed, I’m sorry. I will see to it that you’re out.)
This is his 3rd time to make the threat.
ABS-CBN’s current franchise, approved through Republic Act No. 7966 on March 30, 1995, is set to expire on March 30, 2020.
If the bill renewing the franchise does not get signed into law, ABS-CBN would have to close down its radio and television operations.
Duterte repeated his threat to ABS-CBN as part of a larger diatribe against powerful corporations he accused of “screwing over” the government, like Ayala Corporation and Manny Pangilinan’s Metro Pacific Investments Corporation.
In April 2017, Duterte accused the network of “swindling” him for not airing his paid political advertisements during the 2016 presidential campaign.
Duterte first publicly threatened ABS-CBN days after he signed into law the franchise renewal of its rival, GMA Network. Duterte then repeated his threat to block the renewal of ABS-CBN’s franchise in August 2018. (READ: Duterte: If it were up to me, no ABS-CBN franchise renewal)
House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, Duterte’s running mate in 2016, said he too has a “personal complaint” against the network.
But he promised the House of Representatives would give ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal “due process.” The House committee on legislative franchises was to tackle the franchise renewal bill before the end of 2019. – Rappler.com