Pres. Rodrigo Duterte stands firm on ABS-CBN franchise, stonewalls allies Sen. Tito Sotto, Vilma Santos-Recto

LionhearTVMarch 10, 2021

President Rodrigo Duterte is not backing down on his opposition to the ABS-CBN franchise renewal.

This despite two of his Congressional allies are the main proponents of the fresh moves to give ABS-CBN its fresh 25-year franchise.

During his speech in Cagayan de Oro City on Friday, March 5, Duterte reiterated that he will not allow ABS-CBN to return to its free TV broadcast.

According to Duterte while ABS-CBN has managed to give entertainment to people especially kids, the network still doesn’t deserve to have its franchise back after what they did to the government. Duterte maintains the network has made fool of the government with regards to the DBP loans.

“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 allies, Senate President Tito Sotto, and House Deputy Speaker Vilma Santos-Recto were the ones who made the fresh moves to renew talks about the ABS-CBN franchise renewal.

Sotto filed Senate Bill No. 1967 which aims to give ABS-CBN a fresh 25-year franchise and allow the network to go back to free TV broadcast.

Sotto cited a Kantar Media survey saying ABS-CBN continues to be the viewers’ top choice TV network. Sotto also mentioned ABS-CBN’s wide reach which is very helpful in disseminating news and information, especially during public emergencies.

“ABS-CBN is still the top choice of viewers in the Philippines as its viewers nationwide prefer to catch relevant news and inspiring TV series on ABS-CBN as the network registered an average audience share of 45%or 14 points higher than GMA’s 31%,” said Sotto in the bill.

“ABS-CBN’s wide reach to Filipinos, alongside the undeniable advantages of broadcast media relative to mass communication, definitely calls for the immediate renewal of the network’s franchise,” Sotto continued.

Santos-Recto meanwhile followed suit and filed the counter-part bill at the House of Representatives on January 5 and was officially read at the plenary on January 18.

According to the House Bill, TV is still the preferred medium of most Filipinos, and that ABS-CBN continues to reach out to as many people as possible.

“ASB-CBN is the Philippines’ largest entertainment and media conglomerate in terms of revenue, operating income, net income, assets, equity, market capitalization, and the number of employees.”

“Despite the growing popularity of social media, television still remains as a preferred mass medium in our provinces and far-flung areas,”

“ABS-CBN has remained steadfast in its commitment to reach out to as many Filipinos as possible by delivering their quality core programs closer to our countrymen by taking advantage of emerging broadcast technologies,” the bill said

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