What is the reason behind the issue of ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal? Apparently, the network hurt Duterte’s feelings.
This seems to be the main consensus of the viewing pvblic, who closely followed the Senate hearing covering the issue today. ABS-CBN emerged relatively unscathed from the litany of accusations that it’s facing after multiple government agencies cleared the network of any wrongdoings.
The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) confirmed that ABS-CBN has been ‘regularly filing and paying their taxes for the past number of years’. The National Trade Commission (NTC) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) also maintains that no laws were violated.
ABS-CBN’s misstep, it seems, is that it aired an ad during the 2016 presidential race that hurt and offended the President. As revealed by Senator Bong Go, the ad in question showed Duterte cursing and joking about the rape of an Australian missionary.
ABS-CBN president Carlo Katigbak said that the ad, paid for by Antonio Trillanes IV, complied with election laws and had every right to be aired.
Katigbak also revealed that the Php 7 million of unaired paid ads, which Duterte has routinely used to justify his disdain, was a result of the network’s limited time slots during the hectic campaign period.
He adds that the amount had already been partially refunded. Php 4 million was already sent back, while 2.6 million was delayed and later denied by Duterte’s camp.
Still, Katigbak was apologetic and claimed that ABS-CBN does not have a political agenda.
ABS-CBN President Carlo Katigbak says sorry to President Rodrigo Duterte for failing to air ₱7 million worth of his political ads during the 2016 elections https://t.co/v2fzuTgKew #ABSCBNfranchise pic.twitter.com/eZTCqtRsCf
— CNN Philippines (@cnnphilippines) February 24, 2020
But despite the seemingly personal grievances, Go maintained that the President’s scrutiny isn’t based on a desire for revenge.
‘Nasaktan ang Presidente, nababoy ang Presidente. Hindi vindictive ang Pangulo but it is clear that someone went overboard to malign him‘, said Go. The senator also promised that he would appeal to Duterte, as he doesn’t want the workers to lose their jobs.
But even with Go’s assurance, the pvblic wasn’t exactly convinced.
What the #ABSCBNFranchise hearing reveals: ABS-CBN did not violate any law.
Its only sin, as drilled by the President's chief wingman Senator Bong Go himself, is to anger the President. The jobs of 11,000 Filipinos hang on a single man's fragile ego. #NoToABSCBNShutDown
— Rambo Talabong (@ramboreports) February 24, 2020
In effect, Bong Go is admitting that this #ABSCBNFranchise issue is all about his boss’ personal vendetta. Sa bibig talaga nahuhuli ang isda.
— Ederic Eder 🇵🇭 (@ederic) February 24, 2020
Ang maganda sa hearing nato, now ABS-CBN was able to defend itself in the PROPER forum. Questions are all answered by no less than the ones from different gov agencies. Lumabas din ang totoong issue. Lame and bratty issue.#ABSCBNfranchise #NoToABSCBNShutDown
— Pammy (@pammydmommy) February 24, 2020
True to being Duterte's lapdog, it's not surprising that Bong Go's opening statement in the Senate hearing on the #ABSCBNFranchise blatantly revolves around the president's butthurt feelings.
The threat to shut down ABS-CBN is mere personal vendetta. #NoToABSCBNShutDown
— Philip Jamilla (@pmjamilla) February 24, 2020
Mass Media: Affected
Press Freedom: Affected
Duterte: OFFENDED; wants revenge#ABSCBNFranchise
— PinaSentiments (@PinaSentiments) February 24, 2020
1. Doesn’t have any tax delinquencies.
2. Complied with SEC rules.
3. Paid its taxes (in the billions).
4. Is cleared with DOLE.
5. Is complying with NTC rules and regulations.
These FACTS matter.
— Goyo Y. Larrazabal (@GoyYLarrazabal) February 24, 2020