Duterte admits using presidential powers vs ABS-CBN: ‘Tinira ko talaga sila’

MANILA, Philippines – Outgoing president Rodrigo Duterte admitted that he used his presidential powers to influence the shutting down of ABS-CBN.

Duterte admits influencing the Congress against ABS-CBN
Outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte admits influencing the Congress against ABS-CBN | Photo Courtesy: PCOO

Just days before he steps down, Duterte continued his tirade against the former broadcast giant. He revealed that he influenced the Congress to not grant ABS-CBN its franchise.

During the oath-taking ceremony of newly elected local government officials of Davao City, Duterte said he targeted ABS-CBN and warned the Congress that the network is home to “scoundrels.”

“Tinira ko talaga sila. I used the presidential powers to tell Congress that you are dealing with scoundrels and if you continue to kowtow with them, kawawa ang Pilipino,” he said.

Duterte insisted that ABS-CBN “never paid taxes” and gave harsh words against companies that take advantage of Filipinos. ABS-CBN went off-air on May 5, 2020 after the National Telecommunications Commission ordered it to stop its TV and radio operations following the expiration of its franchise.

In 2020, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said that the House of Representatives’ was not influenced in any way by the president in rejecting ABS-CBN’s franchise bid. Roque said Duterte never meddled in the voting.

Roque earlier said, “Hindi po siya nanghimasok sa botohan sa Kongreso. At habang dinidinig po ng Kongreso ang prangkisa ng ABS-CBN, hindi naman po siya umatake sa ABS-CBN. Nanahimik po siya at hinayaan niyang bumoto sang-ayon sa konsensiya ang mga kongresista.”

In 2020, Duterte’s close aide admitted that the president was offended by the airing of a video in ABS-CBN that questioned his reputation. The opposition-aid ad showed Duterte was a cursing and tough-talking politician and asked if he’s fit to be a president. ABS-CBN President and Chief Executive Officer Carlo Katigbak apologized to the president.

"We are sorry if we offended the President. That was not the intention of the network. We felt that we were just abiding by the laws and regulations that surround the airing of political ads,” Katigbak said.

— Sally, The Summit Express

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