ABS-CBN slams citizenship claims vs Gabby Lopez
ABS-CBN chairman emeritus Eugenio "Gabby" Lopez III
The STAR/File
ABS-CBN slams citizenship claims vs Gabby Lopez
Deni Rose M. Afinidad-Bernardo (Philstar.com) - May 11, 2020 - 12:42pm

MANILA, Philippines — “Mr. Gabby Lopez is a Filipino citizen,” TV station ABS-CBN stressed amid claims that its chairman emeritus Eugenio "Gabby" Lopez III’s ownership of company shares and previous leadership allegedly violated the network’s franchise terms.

In a statement sent to Philstar.com, the TV network explained that Lopez “was born to Filipino parents — under the 1935 Constitution that was in effect when he was born — which automatically makes him a Filipino citizen.”

“He did not need to acquire Filipino citizenship because he never lost it nor renounced it,” ABS-CBN said.

The network did not deny that Lopez was also “born in the US and under the US Constitution, he is also a US citizen.”

According to an ABS-CBN News report, Lopez was “a dual citizen long before the Philippines enacted a dual citizenship law” because “he was born in the United States.”

But, according to the statement, “A passport is not the sole proof of citizenship.” 

“When Mr. Lopez asked the Bureau of Immigration to recognize his citizenship, it was for the purpose of getting official recognition of his Filipino citizenship,” said ABS-CBN.

“The Department of Justice and the Bureau of Immigration have both recognized the Philippine citizenship from birth of Mr. Lopez as contained in Identification Certificate No. 0069 dated 1 Oct 2002.”

Last May 5, the network went off-air following the National Telecommunications Commission’s (NTC) cease and desist order after the network’s franchise expired on May 4.

Related: ABS-CBN answers NTC's cease and desist order

In a separate statement, the media conglomerate expressed optimism for its franchise renewal.

“We trust that Congress will be able to act on our pending application for a franchise renewal at the soonest possible time. We are thankful for the efforts of both the House and the Senate leaderships to ensure that the network will continue to operate while the bills are being deliberated upon. During this pandemic, our services are needed most,” the network said.

“This is a challenging time for the network.  But we have found strength and inspiration in the many acts of kindness and support shown to us by the public. Thank you for letting us know that we matter to you. In return, we reiterate our commitment to continue to be in your service. Maraming salamat po, mga Kapamilya!”

RELATED: LIST: Where to watch ABS-CBN shows during shutdown

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