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Duterte not lobbying against ABS-CBN franchise renewal: Palace

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By Prince Golez

Malacañang on Wednesday denied claims that President Rodrigo Duterte was pressuring Congress on the renewal of ABS-CBN’s legislative franchise.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador was reacting to the statement of Isabela Rep. Antonio “Tonypet” Albano, the vice-chairperson of the House committee on legislative franchises, that they were receiving pressure from those for and against the franchise renewal.

“The President absolutely is not lobbying and there is no lobby coming from members of Congress to him because members of Congress know that the President does not entertain any call from them in relation to any measure being discussed in Congress, and for that matter any subject matter that does not concern the President on matters affecting the presidency and the national interest as well as general welfare,” said Panelo.

The spokesman reiterated that Congress has the exclusive authority to grant or cancel any franchise.

“Even assuming on the remotest possibility that he will veto, it is still Congress. They can override the President under the Constitution. The President does not interfere ever since. Never siya nag-interfere,” he also said.

Meanwhile, Panelo told lawmakers to just ignore Duterte’s repeated threats against the network. The President has accused ABS-CBN of not airing his advertisement during the 2016 presidential elections.

“They should do their duty as members of Congress. Any statement of displeasure by the President to anybody because of an incident that involves him personally should be ignored by them, in relation to their official work.”

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