EJK of press freedom under Duterte? ‘Nonsense,’ says Palace
MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang hit back Friday at Albay 1st District Rep. Edcel Lagman for saying President Rodrigo Duterte’s threat not to renew the franchise of ABS-CBN was an “extrajudicial killing” of press freedom.
Lagman said “the President must institute with the proper judicial or administrative forum his personal grievances against ABS-CBN, instead of imposing an extrajudicial killing of the freedom of the press.”
Sought for comment, presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo called Lagman’s statement as “nonsense.”
“We will not respond to another nonsense from him. Those issues have been bled dry by rambunctious critics like him, and have been responded to before,” he said in a text message.
“We will not repeat ourselves. We will not accommodate him just to make him earn media mileage he added.
In a speech on December 30 in M’lang, North Cotabato, Duterte told the owners of ABS-CBN to just sell the network.
The proposed sale came as the President’s friend, Davao-based businessman Dennis Uy recently formed the Udenna Communications Media and Entertainment Holdings Corp., which expands his business to media and entertainment sector.
The President has repeatedly warned that he will block the franchise renewal of ABS-CBN after what he claimed was the network’s failure to air his campaign advertisement during the 2016 national elections.
Despite Duterte’s repeated threats, Panelo earlier said that the fate of ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal remains with Congress.
As of posting, nine bills are pending at the House of Representatives for the renewal of the network’s franchise.
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