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Enrile: Gabby Lopez qualified to own ABS-CBN

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Former senator Juan Ponce Enrile has come to the defense of ABS-CBN chairman emeritus Gabby Lopez amid questions on his citizenship.

Enrile, a veteran lawyer, said Sunday (June 14) that Lopez is qualified to own a Philippine broadcasting company despite being a dual American and Filipino citizen.

As Lopez and his lawyer have explained in congressional hearings, Enrile said the ABS-CBN executive is both a Filipino and American citizen at birth.

Lopez was born in the US to Filipino parents. He’s American by virtue of the location of his birth and Filipino because his parents were both Filipinos.

“From the view point of US law, he is a natural born American. At the same time, from the view point of Philippine law, he is a natural born Filipino. This dual citizenship is, in fact, recognized by our Congress under the dual citizenship law passed by it,” Enrile said.

“I personally believe that Gabby Lopez is qualified to own and managed a mass media broadcast business in our country, and that ABS-CBN Corporation is not disqualified because of him to engaged in mass media broadcast business under a provision of our Constitution which says – “The ownership and management of mass media shall be limited to citizens of the Philippines…,” he added.

Enrile said Lopez’ dual citizenship is a “weak ground” to deny ABS-CBN’s application for a new franchise.

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