Duterte accuses ABS-CBN of “swindling”; seeks to block network’s renewal of franchise

    MANILA, Philippines - President Rodrigo Duterte’s earlier threat against TV network giant ABS-CBN may soon come true after he expressed his intention to block the renewal of its franchise on Thursday, April 27.

    Duterte accuses ABS-CBN of “swindling”; seeks to block network’s renewal of franchise

    In a media interview, Duterte accused the Lopez-owned company of “swindling,” saying that it did not air his political ads during the 2016 campaign season even if they were already paid for by his campaign team.

    “[The franchise] has been there for 25 years. The law said it’s okay, only if you adhere to journalistic standards. What did you do to us? Estafa, swindling, not only me but Chiz Escudero, many of us. Son of a b*tch, you collected outright then you commit estafa,” Duterte told reporters.

    Duterte's strong statement against ABS-CBN comes shortly after he extended the franchise of the network’s toughest rival, GMA 7, for the next 25 years. A report by Business World revealed that Duterte signed the Republic Act (RA) No. 10925 granting the renewal of franchise of the said TV network last April 21.

    According to the President, he would file a complaint against the network and urge the Congress not to renew its franchise. As of this writing, House Bill 4349 which seeks to renew the franchise granted to ABS-CBN for 25 years is at the committee level.

    Duterte has been vocal in raising his complaints against the media giant whom he accused of biased reporting. Just last month, Duterte warned “rude media”, citing ABS-CBN, of karma.

    “Tingnan kung magslant. Ewan ko ba. But someday – hindi ko tinatakot – but someday, 'yung karma, dadating ‘yan,” Duterte said during a public address on March 30.

    ABS-CBN chair Eugenio “Gabby” L. Lopez III simply brushed aside Duterte’s negative remark against his company.

    “Let me just say, we have not yet encountered an administration that at one point or another had not had some issue with the media in general, and ABS-CBN in particular,” Lopez said.

    --Mini, The Summit Express

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