ABS-CBN didn’t air Otso Diretso’s campaign ads, too – Pangilinan
MANILA, Philippines — Apparently, it was not just President Rodrigo Duterte who got offended over unaired election advertisements with media network giant ABS-CBN but also the opposition Otso Diretso candidates.
According to Senator Francis Pangilinan, a Liberal Party leader and campaign manager of Otso Diretso during the 2019 midterm polls, millions of pesos-worth of campaign advertisements were not aired by ABS-CBN in the last seven days of last year’s election campaign.
He said they got upset about it but were level-headed enough to discern that such an episode should not be a reason to block the renewal of ABS-CBN’s legislative franchise, which is set to lapse this May, not March 30 as earlier reported, and could lead to joblessness of some 11,000 individuals.
“[Ang] sabi ko nga, kahit na may hinanakit kami, hindi naman dapat mauwi sa may mawawalan ng trabaho ang 11,000 na empleyado,” he told reporters in Naga City during the 34th Edsa People Power commemoration.
(As I said, even if we felt snubbed, it should not lead to 11,000 employees losing work.)
Asked if the challenges being faced by the media conglomerate on its franchise renewal bid were political, the senator replied: “Well, maliwanag (Well, obviously).”
During the February 24 Senate inquiry into the broadcasting firm’s franchise, ABS-CBN President and Chief Executive Officer Carlo Katigbak clarified that the television network aired all of Duterte’s P117 million worth of national political ads in 2016.
But Katigbak also admitted that ABS-CBN was not able to air P7 million worth of the P65 million worth of Duterte’s local political ads because of shortage in time slots.
Over and over again, Duterte said in his several speeches that he would prevent the renewal of ABS-CBN’s license to operate for not airing his 2016 election ads and alleged biased reporting.
At the administration-dominated House of Representatives, at least 11 bills calling for ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal have been awaiting action.
At the same time, the Office of the Solicitor General – the government’s top lawyer – filed before the Supreme Court a quo warranto petition that wants to invalidate the legislative franchise of ABS-CBN.