Supporters and employees hold lighted candles and placards during a protest in support of local broadcast giant ABS-CBN in Manila on February 14, 2020. Philippine government lawyers moved on February 10 to strip the nation's biggest media group of its operating franchise in what campaigners branded a fresh attack on press freedom under President Rodrigo Duterte.
AFP/Ted Aljibe
ABS-CBN president: Company may not be perfect, but no reason to stop its services
Kristine Joy Patag (Philstar.com) - February 21, 2020 - 10:36am

MANILA, Philippines — ABS-CBN President and CEO Carlo Lopez Katigbak addressed, for the first time, allegations thrown against the broadcast company amid its franchise renewal woes.

 In a video message released Thursday night, Katigbak said in Filipino that “they do not see any reason for the network to not continue its services” that started 65 years ago.

“The company will soon be given the chance to shed light on the issues surrounding our franchise,” he added.

On Monday, the Senate will hold the first public hearing on the renewal of the broadcast giant. It will be conducted before the House of Representatives tackles the bills on the same issue.

ABS-CBN is also set to file its comment, in answer of the allegations contained in the quo warranto petition filed by Solicitor General Jose Calida.

Katigbak admitted that the company had its faults but committed to correcting them.

“Serbisyo po ang layunin ng ABS-CBN. Ngunit kami po ay hindi perpekto. Nagkakamali din po kami at handa po naming itama ang anumang pagkukulang. Kasama ito sa proseso ng pagiging isang mas matatag na kumpanya,” he said.

(The goal of ABS-CBN is service. But we are not perfect. We commit mistakes and we are ready to rectify whatever lapses we had. This is included in the process of becoming a stronger company.)

Katigbak has held the CEO post of the company since Jan. 1, 2016, following the retirement of Charo Santos-Concio, who continues to serve the company as chief content officer.

Lawmakers hold the future of ABS-CBN in their hands

In the opening of the video, Katigbak introduced himself as one of the 11,000 employees of the network.

Addressing the Congress, he said: “The future of ABS-CBN is in your hands.”

“We trust in your words that you will give is the chance to answer the questions of our countrymen. We are praying that you see the goodness that ABS-CBN brought to every Filipino family,” he added.

Katigbak also said that the company will do everything so that ABS-CBN will continue its services.

EXPLAINER: Potential ABS-CBN shutdown a loss for Filipino audiences and culture too, scholars note

ABS-CBN is racing against time to renew its legislative franchise that will expire on March 30.

But House Speaker Alan Peter Cayeteno said Thursday that the House may hear bills on the company’s franchise renewal in May or July. He insisted that ABS-CBN will not go off air when the franchise expires next month.

Meanwhile, the National Telecommunications Communications asked the Department of Justice for its legal opinion on whether the network may be given provisional franchise while bills for its renewal are pending before the Congress.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said they intend to reply to NTC’s request next week.

ABS-CBN ABS-CBN FRANCHISE CARLO KATIGBAK QUO WARRANTO
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