BREAKING: Enrile says ABS-CBN ownership stayed with Lopezes despite sequestration order
MANILA, Philippines — Former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile said Wednesday that the Lopez family never lost ownership of ABS-CBN even after a sequestration order was issued during the administration of former President Ferdinand Marcos.
In the joint hearing of the House committee on legislative franchises and the committee on good government and public accountability, Enrile, who executed the sequestration order on all television and radio stations in the country during the martial law, said that the title of ABS-CBN was not transferred to the government.
“The facilities of the entire ABS-CBN complex, broadcast complex, were placed under the control of the government. The title of all of these facilities was never transferred to the government. They remained with the owners,” Enrile said.
“Hindi tama yung sinabi ni Jake Almeda-Lopez na inagaw ni Presidente Marcos yung ABS-CBN. It was part of the national policy to immobilize and control the communication system and the outlets for information in the entire nation and that is what we did,” the former senator added.
(It wasn’t true what Jake Almeda-Lopez had said that President Marcos took ABS-CBN from them.)
Enrile was referring to the earlier pronouncement of Augusto Almeda Lopez in the same hearing that the network was not returned to them in 1986, but rather they had to take it back themselves.
“Hindi sinauli sa amin ang ABS-CBN. Kinuha namin, binalik namin sa sarili namin,” said Almeda-Lopez.
Enrile recalled that during the Marcos regime, the order was issued to sequester all television stations, all radio stations, all communication facilities—both domestic and international—in the country “in order to control the situation so that there will be no reaction or opposition to the declaration of martial law.”
In 1973, Enrile said ABS-CBN was reopened to be used by the government to “broadcast information for the country.” It was the situation until 1986—the same year the Edsa Revolution happened.
“In 1986, to be exact it was February 26, I, as Secretary of National Defense and sequestrator of ABS-CBN and all the other television, radio and communication facilities in the country, issued an order to lift the sequestration of ABS-CBN,” Enrile said.
“That was the last time I had any contact or involvement with ABS-CBN,” he added.
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