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Duterte threatens to pull the plug on ABS-CBN for ‘estafa, swindling’: No franchise extension

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President Rodrigo Duterte is planning to take the country’s biggest media company, ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corp., off the air for failing to reimburse him for the campaign ad he paid for last year.

In a briefing in Malacanang, Duterte said ABS-CBN’s public franchise to operate a national television station was hinged on its adherence to ethics and journalistic standards.

“Well, alam mo, itong ABS, ang franchise will be due pero hindi na kailangan ng extension because it has been there for about 25 years. Sabi ng batas, okay na. Only if you adhere to journalistic (standards). Ang ginawa ninyo sa amin, it’s estafa, swindling. Not only me but (Senator) Chiz Escudero, pati si ano. Marami pa ‘yan. Inotso niyo, putang ina harap-harapan magkolekta kayo tapos estafa ninyo kami,” said Duterte.

“I will file a complaint. Congress, no need to renew it. But to operate? That’s something else. So I will point this out, ‘yung basura ninyo then we’ll see. You are committing a crime,” he said.

When asked to clarify if he planned to block the renewal of ABS-CBN’s franchise which would expire on March30, 2020, Duterte said:”Yes. ung ganon ka na ano, you are engaged in swindling. For all you know, ilang kumpanya dito na nagbayad na na hindi ninyo pinalabas? If you operate an ABS-CBN tapos manloloko lang kayo ng tao, mag-swindling kayo, I have to stop you ‘di ba? Eh kung manloloko ka, anong gawin ko?”

Duterte is still sore at ABS-CBN for not airing his campaign commercial in reply to the anti-Duterte paid for by Senator Antonio Trillanes IV which ABS-CBN ran in the weeks before election day. He described the Trillanes-sponsored as “black propaganda” which used children to mouth attacks against him.

“They have a commitment. Kung ganoon, engaged in swindling, for all you know, may kumpanya nagbayad na di ninyo pinalabas. If you operate, manloko ka lang, kung swindling lang kayo, i have to stop you. Kung manloko ka, ano gagawin ko? Estafa, swindling,” Duterte said.