Pres. Rodrigo Duterte stands by his opposition to ABS-CBN franchise renewal

LionhearTVMarch 10, 2021

President Rodrigo Duterte has issued fresh attacks against ABS-CBN using the already settled DBP loans.

During his speech in Cagayan de Oro City, Duterte maintained that he will block any move to give ABS-CBN a fresh 25-year franchise, calling it a piece of garbage.

“ABS-CBN has entertained people and made children happy and I have no problem with that. Now they don’t have a contract so they’re renegotiating. But don’t give me a piece of garbage, son of a bitch. That’s how they are,” the President said.

Duterte reiterated that ABS-CBN made a mockery of the government when they sold their assets to the DBP at a high price and bought it back at a cheaper price.

“They sold all their assets to the DBP. All of it – lock, stock, and barrel. They resumed business and when their business was doing well, they bought back their assets at a cheap price and sold it for a higher price. I said, ‘Ah, son of a bitch.’ ABS-CBN? I’ll shut you down,” he added.

Duterte was referring to the controversial Lopez loans which according to his propagandists were written off or condoned by the state-owned bank.

The DBP however on several occasions has clarified that the Lopez loans were not written off or condoned but instead sold to the Lehman Brothers as part of the 9.55 billion pesos non-performing loans (NPLs) and non-performing assets (NPAs) through the SPV law.

During the congressional hearing on the matter, DBP President Emmanuel Herbosa said SPV law gave banks an avenue to dispose of their nonperforming assets to be more liquid and help them cope with the Asian financial crisis at that time.

“These NPLs (non-performing loans) and NPAs (non-performing assets) were dealt with in the regular course of business and disposed of by DBP pursuant to Republic Act No. 9182, entitled The Special Purpose Vehicles Act of 2002, as amended by RA No. 9343 and other applicable laws, which authorized financial institutions, like DBP to transfer NPLs and NPAs to SPVs (special purpose vehicles) created under the Act.

“The law provided the avenue for Philippine banks to dispose [of] non-performing assets to be more liquid…. It’s not a loan condonation, we sold it with a P3.83-billion bid in favor of DBP,” said Herbosa.

DBP also said that these loans sold to Lehman were audited by COA and they found no irregularity.

“It was audited by the Commission on Audit and in the annual audit report, there was no finding of irregularity,” said DBP Senior Vice President Soraya Adiong.

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