While local media ABS-CBN Corp. offered its viewers a list of “good” shows, it used its channels “at the expense of the people,” President Rodrigo Duterte said on Tuesday.
“But they are really good, no doubt about it. You kind of miss ABS-CBN because they run a good program. But they were running at the expense of the people,” Duterte said during the campaign sortie of his ruling party, the Partido Demokratiko Pilipinas-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), in Buenavista, Agusan del Norte.
Duterte said he had expressed strong objection to the renewal of ABS-CBN’s franchise because it allegedly keeps on “swindling and cheating for money.”
He reiterated that ABS-CBN still has tax liabilities with the government.
“Did you see it on TV, the ABS-CBN case? What happened with ABS-CBN was I went after them because they didn’t pay their taxes running into billions. That is why I really went after them and drove them into… Because they are so arrogant and just keep on trying to earn money unscrupulously,” he said in Filipino.
Duterte also recalled anew that ABS-CBN failed to air his campaign advertisements during the 2016 presidential elections.
“No one could go against them because they will attack you on Magandang Gabi Bayan. I told them, ‘I don’t care about you. We are friends. And I never asked a single peso from you because I paid for my advertisement which you never even aired’,” he said in Filipino.
ABS-CBN halted its broadcast operations on May 5, 2020 following the National Telecommunications Commission’s (NTC) issuance of a cease-and-desist order.
Duterte gave credit to PDP-Laban senatorial bet and House Deputy Speaker Rolando Marcoleta for exposing ABS-CBN’s alleged wrongdoings.
“But the person who was truly working hard as you’ve seen on TV, and speaks so eloquently, he speaks Tagalog fluently and is a good and principled man, he is Marcoleta. I’ll just say his last name because I forgot the… Did you see it on TV? The investigation of the lower house on the ABS-CBN case? That’s him,” he said, referring to senatorial bet Rodante Marcoleta.
In January this year, the NTC granted provisional authority (PA) to the Villar-led Advanced Media Broadcasting System, Inc. to “install, operate, and maintain” digital TV channel 16 and temporary simulcast on analog TV channel 2.
The NTC also granted the Aliw Broadcasting Corp., to install, operate, and maintain a digital broadcasting system using channel 23.
The Swara Sug Media Corporation (SSMC), the legal operating name of Sonshine Media Network International (SMNI) founded and led by Pastor Apollo Quiboloy, was also granted PA to install, operate and maintain digital TV channel 43.
The channels were previously used by ABS-CBN.