ABS-CBN has failed to reach a standard of being a media outlet, President Rodrigo Duterte said Thursday as he renewed his threat to object to the renewal of the franchise of the TV network.
In his speech on Thursday evening, Duterte accused the network of refusing to air his campaign advertisement even if he had already paid for it during the 2016 presidential elections.
“F*** y**, you deceived us. There were many of us, not just me. That’s why I’m not going to let you slip past. Your franchise will end,” Duterte said in his speech during the distribution of land certificates to agrarian reform beneficiaries.
Duterte said that he gave his payment to ABS-CBN Corp. chairman emeritus Eugenio “Gabby” Lopez II to air his campaign ad.
“In the presidential debates, every intermission there were slides there. Me? I didn’t have [ad] because I don’t have money,” he said.
“But when I had it, I gave it to ABS-CBN and I told them, ‘Someone contributed a large money to me, for the first time I can pay you ABS-CBN.’ ABS-CBN received the payment, it was Gabby Lopez, but they never showed it,” remarked the President.
He was furious that the network appeared to have prioritized the airing of opposition Senator Antonio Trillanes IV’s campaign ad.
“My two million are still there with you. Now tell me why I should be angry,” he said.
“Your network ignores me up to now. I don’t need it, I’m not running you fools. But f***, when I hear it, I will tell every crowd ABS-CBN only wants money,” he added.
According to the president, he was not the only politician who experienced a problem with the network, adding even Senator Francis Escudero, and 20 other politicians, was in the same situation.
“I would really object that you would renew. You know why? You are thieves and swindlers,” he said, calling out the network’s commentators to review their own records.
During the media briefing after his speech, Duterte reiterated his tirade against the network.
The President said ABS-CBN even offered to return the money that he had paid but said it was “too late,” as he already labeled the network’s operations as a “fraud.”
“It’s fraud. You are actually a fraud if you received the money and you don’t come up with your part of the bargain... They have to answer for it. If they cannot explain to me why they should not be given an extension or how not to run an outfit,” he said.
He reiterated that he would oppose the “powerful” network’s franchise as ABS-CBN did not even apologize.
“They just offered and enclosed a check as a reimbursement. What reimbursement? It is not reimbursement. That money is the amount that they took from us and without returning it and without giving us the desired publication or the desired program that we pay them for,” Duterte said.
“I am just letting you know that ABS-CBN has not come up with a standard of being a media outlet or a medium of communication,” he added.
The President has repeatedly lambasted ABS-CBN for its alleged biased reportage on his supposed ill-gotten wealth and the crackdown on illegal drugs.
The television network’s franchise will expire on March 30, 2020, and its renewal still remains pending in Congress.