- Martin Andanar confirmed that President Rodrigo Duterte will not block the ABS-CBN franchise renewal once it passes in Congress.
- Salvador Panelo said ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal now up to Congress.
Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Sec. Martin Andanar said that President Duterte will not veto the ABS-CBN franchise renewal if it passes both houses of Congress.
In an interview on Monday, July 22, over GMA network radio station DZBB, Andanar was definitive in saying that the President has no plans of vetoing the law that will renew ABS-CBN Corporation’s franchise.
“Sa palagay ko naman kapag pumasa na sa Kongreso, okay na. Kapag pumasa sa Kongreso, kasi nasa Kongreso pa eh nasa kanila ang bola sa ngayon. ‘Yun ang palagay ko,” he said.
Just last week, Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo also said that ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal is now up to the Congress.
“But ABS-CBN ang expiration next year pa eh, tsaka Congress naman. Nasa Kongreso ang bola niyan, hindi naman kay Presidente,” Panelo said.
Meanwhile, Andanar also added that he has yet to hear the President categorically say that he will block ABS-CBN franchise renewal.
He said that while the President was vocal with his anger against the network, it does not mean that he will not allow its franchise renewal.
“Never ko pa narinig kay Presidente na sinabi niya categorically na ‘hindi ko ieextend ng franchise.’ Alam ko sinasabi niya lang ‘yung sama ng loob niya during 2016 elections, na naglagay siya ng pera hindi lumabas yung advertisements. Doon siya nagagalit.”
President Duterte on several occasions has threatened ABS-CBN about their franchise renewal after alleging the network swindled him during the 2016 election campaign and believing that the network was biased in their reporting about the government.
ABS-CBN’s franchise is set to expire on March 30, 2020. The bill that seeks to renew its license to operate is still pending in Congress.