Duterte tells ABS-CBN owners to just sell the TV network

Alexis Romero - Philstar.com
Duterte tells ABS-CBN owners to just sell the TV network
President Rodrigo Duterte delivers a speech during the distribution of the Certificates of Land Ownership Award (CLOA) to qualified agrarian reform beneficiaries from the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao at Shariff Kabunsuan Cultural Complex, Bangsamoro Government Center in Cotabato City on Dec. 23, 2019.
Ace Morandante / Presidential Photo

MANILA, Philippines — Three months before the expiration of ABS-CBN's franchise, President Rodrigo Duterte Monday said the television network should just be sold as he vowed to give its owners an episode they won't forget.

Duterte, who has accused ABS-CBN of biased reporting and of "swindling" him for not airing his campaign commercial, said there is no assurance that the network's franchise would be renewed. The Lopez-owned network's franchise is set to expire on March 30, 2020.

"Your contract is about to expire. You will try to renew it but I don't know what will happen to that," the president said during his visit to earthquake victims in M'lang, North Cotabato.

"Kung ako sa inyo ipagbili niyo na 'yan. Kasi ang mga Filipino ngayon lang makaganti sa inyong kalokohan (If I were you, I would sell it. It's only now that Filipinos would be able to get back at your wrongdoings). And I will make sure that you will remember this episode of our times forever," he added.

Duterte claimed previous presidents did not act against the interests of some businesses because they were afraid of ABS-CBN.

Duterte had claimed that ABS-CBN did not return the money he paid for campaign commercials even if the advertisements did not air. He had also accused the network of magnifying "garbage" stories peddled by his critics.

Earlier this month, Duterte vowed to block the renewal of ABS-CBN's franchise.

"I will see to it that you're out," he said in a speech delivered in Malacañang last December 3.

Duterte blasts Inquirer

Duterte also accused broadsheet Philippine Daily Inquirer of being a "mouthpiece" of oligarchs.

"You son of a b****, Inquirer, everyone. You are silent. Because you are the mouthpiece of oligarchs in the Philippines. You son of a b**** Inquirer, you are on the take," the president said.  

"You are no better than a prostitute. You sell your talent to the rich. Against the poor. Yan. That's why I have always been angry with the rich," he added.

Duterte claimed owners of the broadsheet have used their influence to evade taxes.

"They did not pay taxes, just like donut, just like Inquirer," the president said, apparently referring to the Prietos, the family that owns the broadsheet and the
exclusive Philippine franchisee of Dunkin' Donuts.

Duterte had claimed that the Prietos only paid P8 million to settle a P1 billion tax deficiency of Dunkin Donuts during the time of former President Benigno Aquino III.

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As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: May 23, 2023 - 1:36pm

ABS-CBN Corp. stopped broadcasting on its TV and radio stations on May 5, 2020 after the National Telecommunications Commission issued a cease and desist order. The network's franchise had lapsed on May 4 without action by the House of Representatives.

May 23, 2023 - 1:36pm

ABS-CBN announces that it will cease operations of TeleRadyo, which has been in the red since 2020, by June 30.

August 11, 2022 - 9:37am

In a disclosure, ABS confirms signing of deal that sees the broadcast giant enter into a joint venture with MVP's TV5. — Ramon Royandoyan


January 27, 2021 - 3:35pm

Rep. Mike Defensor (Anakalusugan Party-list) attempts to put the ABS-CBN franchise up for a vote in the plenary, saying it should be taken up as it is in the House's unfinished business.

The House rejects his motion, but he appeals this. House leaders later on commit to begin tackling its unfinished business beginning Monday. —  Xave Gregorio

January 18, 2021 - 3:38pm

Rep. Vilma Santos-Recto (Batangas) has filed a bill seeking the renewal of the franchise granted to broadcast giant ABS-CBN.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III earlier filed a similar bill at the Senate, saying a majority of Filipinos get their news primarily from TV. 

Franchise bills emanate from the House of Representatives.

January 5, 2021 - 8:00pm

Malacañang is leaving it up to Congress to decide on the new bill seeking to renew the franchise of television network ABS-CBN, which was forced to lay off thousands of workers after its franchise expired last May. 

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque disagreed, saying the fate of the bill depends on lawmakers. 

"Well, again, I beg to differ; that is a sole constitutional prerogative of Congress which must originate from the House of Representatives," Roque says at a press briefing. —  Alexis Romero

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