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ABS-CBN can manage even if it loses broadcast franchise – Andanar

/ 10:57 AM December 18, 2019

MANILA, Philippines—Broadcast giant ABS-CBN can manage even if it ends up losing its legislative franchise amid President Rodrigo Duterte’s repeated threat to block its renewal, Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said Wednesday.

Andanar explained that ABS-CBN can simply distribute its contents to other channels if it loses its franchise when it expires on March 30, 2020.

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“We are forgetting that ABS-CBN is not in the business of TV alone. They are in the business of content production,” Andanar said at the weekly Kapihan sa Manila Bay forum in Malate, Manila.

“Meron silang contents online, meron silang magazine, meron silang iba pang mga investment (like) movies. (They have contents online, they are into magazine, they have other investments like movies.)  I’m sure ABS-CBN can find a way how to distribute their content if they lose their franchise,” he added.

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Andanar, however, conceded that ABS-CBN’s fate is up to Congress.

Republic Act No. 3846 requires radio and television broadcasters in the Philippines to obtain a franchise from Congress.

Since he assumed office, Duterte has repeatedly threatened ABS-CBN’s franchise because the network allegedly ran an advertisement against him when he campaigned for President in 2016 and for refusing to air his own campaign advertisements.

Earlier this month, the President said “he will see to it” that ABS-CBN won’t have its franchise renewed.

Duterte to ABS-CBN: ‘I will see to it that you are out’

“If you are expecting na ma-renew ‘yan (franchise), I am sorry. I will see to it that you are out,” Duterte said.

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TAGS: ABS-CBN, Martin Andanar, Media, PCOO, press freedom
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