MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang is mum on the plan of some lawmakers to impose more sanctions against troubled broadcast network ABS-CBN, saying these are individual views of House members.
Some lawmakers who blocked the renewal of the franchise of ABS-CBN want to look into the alleged irregularities committed by the network.
In an online forum, Deputy Speaker Rodante Marcoleta said the network should pay P1.97 trillion in fines for allegedly violating the terms of its old franchise. The network, Marcoleta added, should also be ejected from its headquarters in Quezon City for failing to present an original land title.
Deputy Majority Leader Jesus Crispin Remulla also called for a review of the operations of Big Dipper and Amcara broadcasting, companies owned by the Lopez family.
“We don’t have a comment on that,” presidential spokesman Harry Roque Jr. said at a press briefing yesterday. “That’s an individual opinion of our lawmakers, our policymakers. We respect their view, but we take no stand.”
ABS-CBN, which has been accused by Duterte of biased reporting, has been denied a franchise by the House legislative franchises committee last July 10. The rejection of the franchise – widely seen as an attack against press freedom – is also expected to result in the layoff of 11,000 employees.
Roque has claimed that President Duterte is neutral on the issue. However, a leaked audio of the President’s speech in Sulu last July 13 revealed that Duterte has accused ABS-CBN of defiling him, taking advantage of its political power, and of playing “God” over the lives of Filipinos.
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