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Kinulang sa airtime! ABS-CBN CEO denies politics behind failure to air Duterte’s ads

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ABS-CBN Chief Executive Officer Carlo Katigbak has denied that politics played a role in the network’s failure to air then-Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte’s campaign ads during the 2016 election season.

Facing members of the Senate public services committee Monday (February 24), Katigbak admitted that ABS-CBN failed to air P7-million worth of campaign commercials placed by Duterte’s camp for the network’s local channels.

He explained that airtime was limited for showing advertisements in ABS-CBN’s local channels: Only two minutes per hour is available compared to 19 minutes per hour for national broadcast.

“Our policy is first come, first served. Many of these spots were ordered May 3 and May 7 was the last day of the campaign period. Many previous telecast orders came in ahead of the President,” Katigbak said.

Katigbak said ABS-CBN refunded P4 million to Duterte over the non-airing of his commercials. The network tried to return the remaining P2.6 million to the President through a check but this was no longer accepted.

“We acknowledge our shortcoming in our failure to release the refund in timely manner.We corrected that in 2019. If the ad is not aired, the check should be back to client in seven days,” Katigbak said.

“At the end of the whole discussion, we’re sorry if we offended the President that is not the intention of the network. We felt that we were just abiding the rules and regulations surrounding the airing of
political ads… ABS-CBN does not and will not have its own political agenda,” he added.

Duterte has repeatedly mentioned ABS-CBN’s failure to air his campaign ads as a reason for his anger towards the network.

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