Duterte says if he'd his way, he won't renew ABS-CBN franchise
President Rodrigo Duterte said on Friday if he has his way, he would not renew the franchise of ABS-CBN network.
Since he assumed office in 2016, Duterte has been irked with the television network for allegedly not refunding to him his P2 million payment for a campaign advertisement even if it was not aired during the campaign period.
"Now, ABS-CBN franchise is due for renewal. (The management) has been sending an emissary to talk to me. They have removed (Eugenio) Gabby (Lopez III) because nothing will happen. I will not talk to you, but I will also never intervene," the President said in a speech in Bukidnon.
Lopez used to be the chairman of ABS-CBN Corporation. But he stepped down early this year and he was succeeded by his cousin Martin Lopez.
"But if I had my way, I will not give it (franchise) back to you. You're a thief. You're fooling the small people," Duterte said.
He recalled that ABS-CBN did not even bother to say sorry when his advertisement was not aired during the campaign.
The 25-year franchise of ABS-CBN will end in 2020.
Under the law, Congress grants the franchise for the radio and broadcasting stations in the country by passing a law to be signed by the president. Celerina Monte/DMS