Andanar: Duterte won’t veto ABS-CBN new franchise if it hurdles Congress
MANILA, Philippines—President Rodrigo Duterte will not veto the franchise renewal of television network ABS-CBN once it hurdles past Congress, a Palace official said Monday.
“Sa palagay ko naman kapag pumasa na sa Kongreso, okay na. Kapag pumasa sa Kongreso, kasi nasa Kongreso pa eh nasa kanila ang bola sa ngayon. ‘Yun ang palagay ko,” Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said in an interview over dzBB.
Andanar also claimed that he has never heard Duterte “categorically stated” that he will block the franchise extension of ABS-CBN.
“Never ko pa narinig kay Presidente na sinabi niya categorically na ‘hindi ko ieextend ng franchise.’ Alam ko sinasabi niya lang ‘yung sama ng loob niya during 2016 elections, na naglagay siya ng pera hindi lumabas yung advertisements. Doon siya nagagalit,” he said.
Duterte has publicly announced that he will veto the franchise extension of the television giant after accusing the network of not airing his campaign advertisement that was already paid during the 2016 presidential elections.
He has also repeatedly criticized ABS-CBN for the network’s alleged biased reporting, including his supposed ill-gotten wealth and his controversial war on illegal drugs.
ABS-CBN’s franchise will expire on March 30, 2020, and its renewal remains pending in Congress.
Amid the President’s threat, ABS-CBN accelerated spending across a range of digital initiatives. /jpv
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