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Ain’t got time to suck up: Lopezes leave lobbying for ABS-CBN’s franchise to stars, minions- report

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ABS-CBN may be in danger of going off the air next month, but its owners, the Lopezes, have yet to personally approach lawmakers to lobby for the renewal of the network’s franchise, former Cabinet Secretary Rigoberto Tiglao has claimed.

In his February 17 column for the Manila Times, Tiglao quoted several senior lawmakers as saying that no member of the Lopez family have approached them to “humbly request” Congress to grant ABS-CBN a fresh, 25-year franchise.

“[The Lopezes] instead sent lower ranking ‘feelers’ and reportedly its showbiz stars, thereby insulting the politicians,” Tiglao said.

Quoting a congressman, he added: ““My colleagues were waiting and waiting and waiting for the ABS-CBN gods to approach them for years. They didn’t.”

Tiglao said several lawmakers find ABS-CBN chairman emeritus Gabby Lopez “arrogant” and a far cry from his father, Eugenio “Geny” Lopez Jr.

“Geny would have handled this crisis very, very differently. He would have humbled himself to save his flagship, maybe even appealed to Duterte, as his grandfather Eugenio, Sr. did in 1973* to Marcos in the case of Meralco,” he quoted some lawmakers as saying.

ABS-CBN’s fate is now in limbo as Congress has yet to act on bills to renew its franchise. Solicitor General Jose Calida has also filed a quo warranto petition before the Supreme Court seeking to revoke the network’s existing franchise.

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