Palace downplays Duterte’s threat to block ABS-CBN franchise renewal

October 15, 2019
Rodrigo Duterte

President Rodrigo Duterte’s repeated threats to block the franchise renewal of ABS-CBN were mere expressions of displeasure since the Chief Executive is not a vengeful person, Malacañang yesterday said. 

“Basta si Presidente hindi benggatibong tao. ‘Yan ang masasabi ko sa inyo. Dahil kung benggatibo yan marami na sigurong nalagas. Mabait siyang tao (The President is not a vengeful person.

(That’s what I can say. Because if he was, many would have fallen by the wayside.  He is a kind individual),” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in an interview Monday evening.

Duterte has repeatedly said in his public speeches that he would block the renewal of ABS-CBN’s franchise for not airing his 2016 election advertisement and for alleged biased reporting.

Asked about the repeated threats, Panelo downplayed the President’s remarks.

“Baka expression lang ‘yon ng kanyang inis (It could be just an expression of his displeasure),” Panelo said.

Panelo, who is also Duterte’s chief legal counsel, said the franchise renewal of ABS-CBN, which is set to expire on March 2020, is up to Congress.

“That’s the call of Congress,” he said.

Meanwhile, Senator  Ralph Recto has filed a bill renewing the franchise granted to ABS-CBN while Nueva Ecija Representative  Micaela Violago has filed the same bill in the 18th Congress.