ABS-CBN: Chairman Emeritus Gabby Lopez a Filipino citizen
MANILA, Philippines — ABS-CBN on Monday maintained that the corporation’s Chairman Emeritus, Eugenio “Gabby” Lopez III, is a natural-born Filipino citizen and “is qualified to own shares in a mass media company.”
ABS-CBN issued the statement following a news report which claimed that the broadcasting corporation has long been headed by a US citizen, which is a violation of the Constitution.
The report cited supposed records from the Bureau of Immigration (BI) which allegedly showed that Lopez used his US passport during his overseas trips from January 1995 to January 2020.
But ABS-CBN refuted such claims and said Lopez’ parents “were both Filipinos at the time of his birth in 1952, making him a natural-born citizen of the Philippines under the 1935 Constitution.”
“We had answered this issue when it was raised at the Senate hearing last February, and we have complied with the requirement of the Senate to submit the necessary documents,” it added.
Early last week, ABS-CBN was forced to go off the air when the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) ordered the shutdown of its television and radio broadcasting station nationwide after the network’s franchise lapsed on May 4, 2020.
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