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Moro-moro lang hearings! Alan Cayetano: ABS-CBN shutdown ‘inevitable’

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House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano confirmed Monday (July 13) that the denial of ABS-CBN’s franchise application had been set in stone even if the network was given the chance to refute allegations in marathon hearings.

In a Facebook post Monday (July 13), Cayetano blamed the rejection of ABS-CBN’s franchise application on the Lopezes, whom he called “oligarchs.”

“As to the Oligarchs, like the owners of ABSCBN, whose historical institutional DNA is programmed to protect and grow their fortunes by controlling and abusing the system, they also deprive the country of billions in much needed funds by skirting and bending the law. Many times in connivance with the political elite,” he said.

Cayetano again zeroed in on the network’s use of tax avoidance schemes as an example of how ABS-CBN uses laws to protect ABS-CBN’s interest. He noted that ABS-CBN only paid P563 million in taxes from 2017 to 2019 compared to GMA Network’s P3.13 billion, even if the former was the biggest media company in the Philippines.

“And this is just the tip of the iceberg that sank the network. It wasn’t the government who shut ABS-CBN down, rather it was their owners’ playing fast and loose with our laws in the past decades, that made the shutdown inevitable,” Cayetano said.

Citing ABS-CBN’s various alleged legal violations, the House legislative franchises committee on July 10 voted to deny the network’s franchise application.

Cayetano said he supports the committee’s decision. He also maintained that ABS-CBN’s shutdown has nothing to do with press freedom.

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