MANILA, Philippines — Trespassers at the ABS-CBN compound in Quezon City could be “shot” under the law as the act of taking over the network’s property and equipment is “trespassing” and “theft,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. warned yesterday.
The envisioned takeover is said to be part of a plan being pushed by Deputy Speaker Rodante Marcoleta and other congressmen who killed the network’s application for a new broadcast franchise.
The plan to take over ABS-CBN’s compound and facilities emerged at a Zoom meeting among Marcoleta, Anakalusugan party-list Rep. Mike Defensor, Deputy Majority Leader Jesus Crispin Remulla, Tingog Sinirangan party-list Rep. Yedda Romualdez and Laguna Rep. Dan Fernandez and included a fine of nearly P2 trillion, after junking the franchise and triggering the layoff of 11,000 employees.
“Technically speaking that’s trespassing and theft and under the law you can shoot trespassers, I’m almost sure of that,” Locsin warned in a post on his official Twitter account.
Marcoleta suggested to his colleagues that they should go after ABS-CBN’s compound, including its equipment and facilities.
Remulla replied to Marcoleta: “Oo. Yung lupa, dapat imbestigahan yan (Yes, the land should be investigated).”
Marcoleta added that since they were after the principal, the broadcast company stands to lose everything on the land located on Mother Ignacia and Sgt. Esguerra streets: chattels, improvements, accessories belong to the government, he claimed.
During the franchise hearings, Marcoleta questioned the validity of ABS-CBN’s title to the property.
Remulla supported Marcoleta’s proposal, saying their group should meet this week for a “follow-through action” after killing the franchise.
Locsin called the abject “betrayal” of the House of Representatives with regard to the shutdown of media giant ABS-CBN a public relations disaster.
Locsin served as Makati 1st District representative from 2001 to 2010. He used to host the public affairs program “Assignment” on ABS-CBN before he was elected to Congress.
The shutdown order of the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) forced the network to go off air on May 5.— Edu Punay
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