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ABS-CBN may kinikilingan! Cayetano compares TV networks: GMA, TV5 didn’t play ‘king slayer or kingmaker’

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House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano sought to justify Thursday (July 16) the denial of ABS-CBN’s franchise application by explaining why the bids of its competitors, GMA Network and TV5, hurdled Congress without a hitch.

In a manifestation during the House Committee on Good Government and Public Accountability’s hearing, Cayetano alleged that ABS-CBN meddled in the country’s political affairs through its news coverage.

He said that while he has been at the receiving end of criticism from GMA Network more times than ABS-CBN, he granted interviews to the former because it didn’t play kingmaker.

“There’s a line between negative reporting, tinitira mo, freedom of the press, and there is a line between being a kingmaker and king slayer,” the Speaker said.

Cayetano said television and radio networks cannot take sides, particularly during elections, because they use frequencies that belong to the state.

“Sa print at sa social media, bahala kayo because karapatan nyo yan, pero sa radio at TV, especially during times of election, kasama sa election code yan, at kasama yan sa prangkisa nyo, you cannot be partisan. You can hit, you can hit very hard but you cannot be partisan,” he said.

Voting 70-11, the House legislative franchises committee denied ABS-CBN’s franchise application on July 10 due to its various alleged violations.

Among the network’s alleged violations was its supposed biased coverage of elections. The network had incurred President Rodrigo Duterte’s ire because it failed to air his ads ahead of the May 2016 elections.

ABS-CBN executives apologized for the lapse and returned Duterte’s payment for the ads, which was donated to charity.

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