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Lopez Holdings denies unpaid debt; ABS-CBN settles tax case with BIR and pays ₱152 million

  • Lopez Holdings Corporation serves as a parent company to First Philippine Holdings Corporation (FPH) and ABS-CBN Corp.
  • On August 30, 2017, President Rodrigo Duterte singled out Lopez Holdings from six businesses that allegedly owe the government money
  • On February 27, 2019, ABS-CBN settled their tax case with BIR and paid P152 million

Lopez Holdings Corporation, formerly known as Benpres Holdings Corporation, was incorporated by the Lopez family to serve as the holding company for investments in major development sectors such as broadcasting and cable; telecommunications; power generation and distribution; and banking.

Lopez Holdings serves as a parent company to conglomerates First Philippine Holdings Corporation (FPH) and ABS-CBN Corp., which President Rodrigo Duterte slammed for allegedly being biased against him.

This referred to his paid political advertisement which was not aired by the network during his presidential election campaign.

On August 30, 2017, Duterte singled out Lopez Holding Corps from six businesses that allegedly owes the government money. The President said the company owed Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP).

“Pera ng tao, gagamitin nila to finance their business pero kanila ‘yung kita,” the President said during his speech.

“And yet, they were not able to pay and it was condoned by government, I will go after the elite in this country because they are the ones really who are benefiting from all of these things,” he added.

However, Lopez Holdings clarified that they do not have unpaid debts with the Development Bank of the Philippines or any government institution.

In a speech during the PDP-Laban Christmas Benefit Dinner on December last year, Duterte said he was willing to have a compromise with television network ABS-CBN in one condition: promote federalism.

“Kung magtulong kayo diyan sa federal system campaign at gawain ninyong slogan also for the unity and to preserve this republic, makipag-areglo ako.”

On February 27, 2019, the Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) second division approved the compromise agreement between ABS-CBN and the BIR to settle the broadcast network’s tax case.

The BIR accepted P152.44 million from the network, which is the equivalent of 40 percent of its assessed deficiency in income tax, value-added tax, and documentary stamp tax payments.

ABS-CBN Chief Financial Officer Aldrin Cerrado was authorized to enter into the compromise agreement with the BIR.

The compromise agreement also counts as a judgment on the case.


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