- ABS-CBN denied alleged violation of any laws
- The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said the company has paid taxes and has no violation of law
ABS-CBN President and Chief Executive Officer Carlo L. Katigbak denied that the company violated any of its franchise provisions in a Senate hearing last Monday, February 24.
This was his response to Solicitor General Jose Calida who asked the Supreme Court to revoke the franchise of ABS-CBN Corp and its subsidiary, ABS-CBN Convergence Inc, for its “highly abusive practices” and “benefiting a greedy few at the expense of millions of its loyal subscribers,”
Calida filed a quo warranto petition, “a legal procedure that is filed against someone who”usurps, intrudes into, or unlawfully holds or exercises a public office, position or franchise,” according to Rule 66 of the Rules of Civil Procedure.
Katigbak firmly told Senators that the broadcasting company, though not perfect, did not violate any law adding that it has a “genuine” commitment to serve.
“We would also like to state that we have not broken the law or violated any of the provisions of our franchise. We thank the Senate for inviting us today, and we welcome the opportunity to shed light on the issues that have been raised against us,” he said.
“In the last twenty-five years of our existing franchise, we believe we have delivered a service that is meaningful and valuable to the Filipino people,” Katigbak said.
“While our commitment to serve is genuine, we also acknowledge that we are not a perfect organization. Where we have shortcomings, we acknowledge them, and work to correct them. May pagkukulang man kami, mas matimbang ang aming adhikain na makapaglingkod,” he added.
The ABS-CBN chief cited the network played a big part as “one of the primary connections” for the overseas Filipino workers to the country to decrease loneliness.
“More than 3 million individuals tune in to TFC to stay in touch with home, or to help ease the pain of their loneliness and sacrifice,” he said.
Katigbak added that ABS-CBN also “help Filipinos where we can” just like its Bantay Bata foundation.
“Bantay Bata has rescued thousands of children from child abuse, and has given them new hope in life. Sagip Kapamilya has provided relief goods to victims of natural or man-made calamities and has provided help to over 12 million families since 2009,” he said.
The ABS-CBN chief then dedicated a message for the network’s supporters whom he regarded as their “strength and courage to face this process.”
“Mga Kapamilya, kayo po ang tanging dahilan kung bakit may ABS-CBN. Ang aming inspirasyon ay nagmumula sa pagkakataong magbigay serbisyo sa inyo. Sinisikap namin na lalo pang pagbutihin ang serbisyo sa inyo at sa ating bayan,” he said.
The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) supported Katigbak’s claims that there were no laws and regulations violated by ABS-CBN.
Simplicio Cabantac of the BIR said ABS-CBN has regularly filed taxes and has paid a total of P14,398,464,716 in taxes from 2016 to 2019.
SEC Commissioner Ephyro Luis Amatong also said “are not aware of any violation or any ongoing complaint or investigation involving ABS-CBN.”
ABS-CBN’s license to operate expires on March 30, while the Congress will adjourn mid-March. There are several bills already filed to renew the franchise of the network but the House of Representatives has yet to act on it.