Foreign Affairs Secretary Teddy Locsin dusted off his trusty sledgehammer to smash another attempt by former Marcos Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile to rewrite history.
Locsin reminded Enrile about his former boss, then president Ferdinand Marcos, used Geny Lopez (the father of ABS-CBN chair emeitus Gabby Lopez) as a pawn to blackmail his father, Don Eugenio Lopez, into turning over ABS-CBN to Marcos and his cronies.
Geny was arrested two months after the declaration of martial law in September 1972 and incarcerated on allegations that he and his family were behind a plot to assassinate Marcos.
“In detention in Fort Bonifacio, Geny Lopez was taken out of solitary and made to kneel in a field and a gun put to his head,” said Locsin on Twitter.
“I guess you might say it was a way to get his free consent to the theft of ABS-CBN and Meralco by the Marcoses and their cronies,” he added.
During the hearing on ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal, ABS-CBN vice chair Jake Almeda Lopez claimed Marcos took ABS-CBN away from the Lopez family.
But Enrile argued that the Lopezes never ceded ownership of the media giant when he ordered the military to take over ABS-CBN as ” part of the national policy to immobilize and control the communication systems and the outlets for information in the entire nation.”
“The title of all of these facilities were never transferred to the government,” Enrile.
Enrile claimed that Geny approached him in 1973 for a meeting. “They wanted the government to take over ABS-CBN and transfer the ownership and control of ABS-CBN because they could not service their loans. That was the situation,” he said.
ABS-CBN was taken over by Marcos crony Roberto Benedicto who went on to control three (Channels 2, 9 and 13) of the five channels in the country from 1973 to 1986..
“For 14 years, pinalakad ng mga Marcos… Sasabihin ko sa inyo, hindi isinoli sa amin. Kinuha namin, ibinalik namin sa sarili namin,” said Almeda-Lopez.
Since ABS-CBN was merely sequestered by government, Locsin said the Lopezes had all the right to take it back when Marcos was ousted in 1986 and Enrile lifted the sequestration order.
“So there was no need for them to go to court; since they never ceased to own it after Marcos and his cronies stole it. After EDSA it was illegal to withhold it from the rightful owners. So it was returned to them. This from the Martial Law administrator,” said Locsin.