Duterte to ABS-CBN: ‘I will see to it that you are out’
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has renewed his threat to block the franchise renewal of television giant ABS-CBN.
Duterte, speaking before newly-appointed officials in Malacañang on Tuesday, said the television network should not expect its franchise to be renewed once it expires in March 2020.
“If you are expecting na ma-renew ‘yan (franchise), I am sorry. I will see to it that you are out,” Duterte said.
(If you are expecting that your franchise will be renewed, I am sorry. I will see to it that you are out.)
Duterte has repeatedly said in his public speeches that he would hinder the renewal of ABS-CBN’s franchise for not airing his 2016 election advertisement and for alleged biased reporting.
Bills seeking to extend ABS-CBN’s franchise remained pending in the House Committee on Legislative Franchises as Palawan Rep. Franz Alvarez, the panel’s chair, has not tabled the measure for discussion.
In the previous Congress, similar bills were sidelined at the House of Representatives as Duterte launched verbal attacks against the media network.
More recently, House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, a known Duterte ally, admitted he had personal objections to the renewal of the franchise of ABS-CBN but promised that the House of Representatives would be “fair” to the broadcast giant.
Cayetano was Duterte’s running mate in the 2016 elections.
Under the law, radio and television broadcasters are required to seek a franchise from Congress, pursuant to Republic Act No. 3846.
Edited by KGA
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