ABS-CBN denies sending ‘emissary’ to bribe solons on network franchise
MANILA, Philippines — Media giant ABS-CBN denied on Thursday claims that it allegedly sent an “emissary” to bribe lawmakers to vote in favor of granting the network a 25-year franchise.
The media giant made the denial after ACT-CIS Partylist Rep. Eric Yap disclosed on Wednesday night that he received a call from someone claiming to be from ABS-CBN offering him P200 million in exchange for his vote on the network’s franchise.
Yap, however, clarified that he was unsure if the person who called him was indeed from ABS-CBN.
Nonetheless, ABS-CBN denied these claims.
“ABS-CBN did not send an emissary to bribe any lawmaker to vote in favor of our franchise application,” the network said in a statement.
“We believe in the process and we have participated in the process. We answered all issues raised in the past 12 hearings,” it added.
In an ambush interview with the media on Thursday, Yap underscored that he never said he believes the caller was indeed from ABS-CBN.
The lawmaker said he was only citing the incident as an example in response to responsible journalism.
In his earlier statement, Yap said that he did not release the information to the media since it was not verified, noting that it would be unfair for ABS-CBN.
“Uulitin ko, hindi ko sinasabing galing siya sa ABS-CBN at ako ay naniniwala doon. Ito ay hindi verified. May mga nagpapanggap lang, sa tingin ko. Uso ngayon ‘yung text, may magtetext, ‘nanalo ka ng one million’ pero peke pala,” Yap told reporters.
“Sa akin, ayoko mabiktima ng fake news kaya sana ‘yung lumabas na news ngayong araw, ‘wag naman nilang sabihin na ang ABS-CBN ay nag-offer ng P200 million sa akin,” the lawmaker added.
The House committees on legislative franchise and the committee on good government and public accountability have discussed various issues lodged against ABS-CBN such as the citizenship of the network’s chair emeritus Gabby Lopez, the Lopez family’s reclamation of the company after the EDSA Revolution, the network’s involvement in alleged labor violations as well as tax-related issues, and their alleged political bias, among others.
Those for and against the franchise have also summed up the discussions on the issues and now only await a schedule for the voting on the franchise.
While the hearings were handled by the joint committees, only the members of the legislative franchise committee, as well as the House officials who are considered ex officio members, will be able to vote.
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