Nang-estafa ba talaga? House challenged to probe Duterte charges vs ABS-CBN
Why does President Rodrigo Duterte want to shut down ABS-CBN?
A major broadsheet is daring the House Blue Ribbon committee to take the lead in explaining to the public why Duterte has declared he would block any franchise renewal of ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corp. and advised its owners, the Lopez family, to sell out.
While Duterte has lambasted ABS-CBN for taking his money while refusing to run his TV commercial against an adverse campaign ad paid for by then Senator Antonio Trillanes IV in the last few days before election day in 2016, the president has not filed any case – fraud or estafa or libel – in court against the network’s management and owners. .
“Did ABS-CBN receive the advertising revenue and reneged on its obligation to its client? Surely there is a contract that covers such transaction, as well as sanctions for the party that breached it, just as there would be official receipts for the payment of the huge amount involved in paid airtime for political ads,” the Inquirer said.
“Showing both documents would redeem the aggrieved party not just in the legal forum, but also before the court of public opinion where, unfairly or not, the President’s actions have been described as an assault on the freedom of the press,” it added.
Sans a court case, the Inquirer said it behooved the House to convene its blue ribbon committee to shed light on an issue which has been the only reason why the ABS-CBN franchise renewal has not been taken up in the committee of franchise.
“A public forum such as the courts or congressional hearings might finally lay to rest this issue. But Mr. Duterte has filed no case and Congress has not scheduled any hearing, while the clock ticks inexorably to a day with disturbing, far-reaching implications for the state of media freedom in the country,” the Inquirer said. ABS-CBN’s franchise will end on 30 March, 2020.