President Rodrigo Duterte reiterated on Monday that he will not allow the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to give ABS-CBN a permit to operate even if the network gets a fresh franchise from Congress were to grant them new franchise.
“I will not allow the NTC to give them the permit to operate… Unless and until mabayaran ng mga Lopez ang mga taxes nila (until the Lopezes pay their taxes), I will ignore your franchise and I will not give them the license to operate,” he said.
“Kalokohan ‘yan parang binigyan mo ng prize for committing criminal acts (It is travesty because that is like giving a prize for committing criminal acts),” Duterte added.
This was the second time Duterte expressed his opposition to ABS-CBN getting a new franchise, which in January seemed to pick up steam in Congress.
“There will be no opening – that I assure you. All franchises will not be implemented. I will not allow that unless their obligations with government are settled,” Duterte said partly in Filipino during a meeting with a number of Cabinet officials on January 18.
“For all I care, you can have a thousand franchises. You will not see the light until you come to government with clean hands,” he added.
Duterte made his comments after Deputy Speaker Vilma Santos-Recto filed a bill in the House of Representatives seeking the renewal for the 25-year franchise of ABS-CBN. SOVEREIGNPH