Chilling effect on media? Roque says ABS-CBN’s business is not news, but entertainment
MANILA, Philippines — Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said Friday he does not believe that ABS-CBN losing its bid for a new franchise sends a “chilling effect” on other media organizations.
In an interview over dzBB, Roque reasoned that ABS-CBN’s business is focused on entertainment and not news.
“Hindi po ako naniniwala sa chilling effect. Dahil unang una, ang negosyo naman po talaga ng ABS-CBN ay hindi naman po balita kundi ito po ay entertainment,” Roque said when asked if it sends such message to the press.
(I don’t believe in the chilling impact of this. Since, first of all, the business of ABS-CBN is not news, but entertainment.)
“Kaya po tayo nanonood dyan, dahil sa mga palabas na “[Ang] Probinsyano,” “[It’s] Showtime,” yan po yung kanilang top grossers. At ang kanilang TV Patrol, bagamat maraming nanonood, hindi naman po yan yung talagang hanapbuhay lang nila,” he added.
(The reason why we watch in ABS-CBN is because of their shows like “Probinsyano,” “Showtime,” those are their top grossers. And while many watch TV Patrol, that is not the focus of their business.)
The House committee on legislative franchises, voting 70-11, denied granting ABS-CBN a new congressional franchise to resume its operations.
Roque maintained Malacañang’s neutrality over the issue, saying ABS-CBN’s franchise was solely in Congress’ hands.
This, despite President Rodrigo Duterte’s repeated threat to block ABS-CBN’s push for a new franchise after the network failed to air his advertisements in the 2016 presidential elections.
In February, ABS-CBN apologized to the President and explained that the time limits under the election law prohibited the airing of some of his ads.
The network even offered to return the President’s money, but Duterte said they should just donate it to a charitable institution.
Duterte accepted the media giant’s apology and said he will leave the media network giant’s impending franchise renewal to Congress. [ac]
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