Palace insists Duterte neutral in ABS-CBN Congress vote | Inquirer News
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despite mention of Lopezes in President's 2020 Sona

Palace insists Duterte neutral in ABS-CBN Congress vote

By: - Reporter / @KAguilarINQ
/ 02:44 PM July 28, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang insisted Tuesday that President Rodrigo Duterte was “neutral” on the ABS-CBN franchise, noting the chief executive did not attack the media network while Congress was hearing its franchise application.

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This, despite the President saying during his fifth State of the Nation Address (Sona) on Monday that he was a “casualty” of ABS-CBN’s owners.

“Neutral po siya doon sa botohan na nangyari sa Kongreso. Pero meron rin po siguro syang personal na paninindigan at ipinarating naman nya yan sa publiko. Pero hindi po sya nakialam sa botohan sa Kongreso,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in an online briefing when sought for comment on Duterte’s mention of the Lopezes.

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(He’s neutral in the voting that happened in Congress. But he also has a personal stance and he let the public know that. Still, he did not intervene in the voting of Congress.)

“Media is a powerful tool in the hands of oligarchs like the Lopezes who use their media outlets to battle with political figures. I am a casualty of the Lopezes during the 2016 elections,” Duterte said in his Sona.

Roque reiterated that Duterte advised his allies in Congress to vote in accordance with their conscience regarding ABS-CBN’s franchise.

“Hindi po sya nanghimasok sa Kongreso at habang dinidinig po ng kongreso ang prangkisa ng ABS-CBN, hindi naman po sya umatake sa ABS-CBN. Nanahimik po sya at hinayaan nyang bumoto ayon sa konsensya ang mga kongresista,” Roque said.

(He did not intervene with Congress when it held hearings on ABS-CBN’s franchise. He kept quiet and he let congressmen vote according to their conscience.)

The House committee on legislative franchises, voting 70-11, earlier denied granting ABS-CBN a new congressional franchise to resume its operations.

ABS-CBN has been off the air since May 5. As a result of its elusive franchise, the network will let go some of its employees by the end of August.

JPV

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TAGS: ABS-CBN, franchise, franchise renewal, Malacañang, Palace, Rodrigo Duterte
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