House to probe ‘condoned’ loans of ABS-CBN Corp. from DBP
MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives’ joint panel inquiry on the ABS-CBN franchise will include in its discussions the alleged condonation by the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) of loans made by ABS-CBN Corp.
During a hearing on Monday, Dumper party-list Rep. Claudine Bautista pointed out that Lopez Incorporated, including Lopez Holdings Corp., had earlier benefited from a large condonation of loans by the DBP, which amounted to P1.6 billion.
The Lopez group of companies, Bautista said, holds a “considerable” number of ABS-CBN Corp. shares.
The lawmaker moved to probe whether ABS-CBN Corp. “unjustly” benefited from the loans condoned by the DBP.
“I move that this committee include this matter as one of the issues to be tackled specifically whether or not ABS-CBN and the Lopez group of companies unjustly benefited from the loans condoned by the DBP to the prejudice of this government,” she said.
Bautista also moved to invite representatives from the DBP to testify in the inquiry as well as submit all relevant documents on the issue.
“We have to look into the legitimacy and the activities of its major stockholders and its affiliate companies because these entities are the ones in control of the company,” she said.
Her motion was seconded by Anakalusugan party-list Rep. Mike Defensor and was approved by the joint panels.
The House committees on legislative franchises and good governance and accountability are currently on the sixth installation of the inquiry into the franchise of ABS-CBN.
The hearing seeks to focus on whether or not the acquisition of ABS-CBN by the Lopez family after the EDSA Revolution was pursuant to the Constitution as well as whether or not the network’s application violates the 50-year constitutional limitation for a franchise.
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