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Duterte vows to block ABS-CBN franchise renewal


By Genalyn Kabiling

President Duterte has vowed to make sure ABS-CBN television network will be “out” of operations after threatening anew to block its franchise renewal.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte delivers his speech during the oath-taking ceremony of the officers of the League of Vice Governors of the Philippines at the Malacañan Palace on September 10, 2019. (KING RODRIGUEZ/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO)

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte

The President issued the statement Tuesday after slamming the TV network for refusing to air his paid campaign advertisements during the 2016 presidential elections.

“Ikaw, ABS-CBN, you’re a mouthpiece of… Ang inyong franchise, mag-end next year (Your franchise will end next year). If you are expecting na ma-renew ‘yan, I’m sorry. You’re out. I will see to it that you’re out,” he said during the oath-taking of government officials in Malacañang.

He complained that the Lopez-owned television network did not air his paid advertisements but aired the controversial campaign materials of opposition Senator Antonio Trillanes IV.

“Ilan kaming mga kandidato na kinuha ninyo ang pera namin (There were several of us candidates and you took our money) but never aired our propaganda. Ako (Me), Chiz Escudero, lahat kami (all of us),” he said.

“Pero ‘yung propaganda ni Trillanes (But Trillanes’s propaganda) portraying children and which is really a prohibited act under the rules of the Election Code, in spite of the fact na may TRO (it had a temporary restraining order) na huwag ninyong ipalabas, pinalabas ninyo (for you not to air it, you still showed it),” he said.

He hinted that the network was now reaching out to him and “begging” for its franchise renewal.

“Ngayon (Now), you come to me begging. Eh ‘yung mga ang —Ang kawawa kayong second generation na walang ka among-among diyan sa akin parang hindi na malaman kung ano ang body language nila (Pity those from the second generation [of the owner’s family] who don’t know how to act towards me, what their body language is),” he added.

The television network’s franchise is set to expire in 2020. A bill seeking to renew the network’s franchise for 25 years remains pending in Congress because of the President’s opposition.

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