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Paano na si Gina? Duterte claims ABS-CBN’s Lopez family has mining investments

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Has President Rodrigo Duterte gone too far in his scorched-earth attack on the country’s biggest news organizations –

President Rodrigo Duterte stepped up his attacks against ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corp. by claiming that its owners, the Lopez family, relentlessly attacked rival mining firms to benefit their own mining interests.

In a speech in Bahrain, Duterte accused ABS-CBN of being in a conflict of interest situation for making adverse reports against mining companies while failing to fully disclose that its owners have a stake in mining.

“Ang ABS-CBN may mining. May mining sila, may subsidiary sila. Kita mo, kunwaring bibira dito sisirain pala. Buti na lang hindi ako naunahan sa kanya o,” said Duterte in a speech in Bahrain. Duterte did not give any details.

Duterte raised the point of conflict of interest to underscore what he believed was ABS-CBN’s hypocrisy in its coverage of his administration, specifically the thousands of deaths in his brutal drug war and the burial of former President Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani last November.

ABS-CBN is owned by the Lopez family which includes Duterte’s Environment Secretary, Gina Lopez.

During his confirmation hearing at the Senate, Lopez was accused of conflict of interest by a University of the Philippines geologist Carlo Arcilla who opposed her appointment because of her bias against mining with her summary closure suspension of mining firms and contracts in just her few months in office.

Arcilla – a consultant of DMCI Mining, Century Peak and Marc Ventures – claimed that the Lopez-owned First Balfour, was operating an open-pit mine at a watershed area in Lobo, Batangas. First Balfour claimed that it has no operations in any watershed area in the country.