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ABS-CBN tells the “truth” regarding allegations against the company

ABS-CBN CEO Carlo Katigbak clarified misconceptions that are being used against the company’s franchise renewal.

  • Some of which are allegations of Gabby Lopez III not being Filipino, foreigners owning PDRs means owning a part of the company, and ABS-CBN violating constitutional laws.
  • He also said that the company did not wrongfully regain ABS-CBN after the martial law. 

During a franchise hearing on June 1, ABS-CBN Corporation CEO Carlo Katigbak answered questions and allegations regarding the constitutionality of the company and its operations.

He stated that there would be many people who would attest to the broadcast station’s sincerity when it comes to its public service efforts, taking exception at Solicitor General Jose Calida’s earlier statement that the company had “deceived” the nation.

Katigbak also clarified that as opposed to the misinterpreted tule that a broadcast station can’t air for more than 50 years, it actually refers to the length of franchise granted, which can be renewed.

He also clarified that ABS-CBN Chairman Emeritus Eugenio “Gabby” Lopez III is a Filipino citizen as he is born to Filipino parents. Gabby Lopez’s father, Eugenio “Geny” Lopez Jr., is the founder of ABS-CBN. This refutes some congressmen’s, including Deputy Speaker Rodante Marcoleta, allegations of Lopez not being a Filipino.

“Ang pagiging American citizen at paghawak ng US passport ay hindi nangangahulugan na hindi siya Pilipino,” he said.

“Mr. Eugenio Gabby Lopez III is a Filipino citizen. He was born to Filipino parents, and under the 1935 Constitution, which was in effect when he was born, he is automatically a Filipino citizen. That is by virtue of the principle of jus sanguinis – the law of ancestry or by blood,” Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Rufus Rodriguez also said.

Another point that Katigbak clarified is holders of ABS-CBN’s Philippine Depositary Receipts (PDRs) do not own part of the company. He also mentioned that GMA Network issued its own PDRs but did not have any trouble with its franchise renewal.

“Unang una po, sa simpleng lenggwahe lang, ang PDR ay hindi isang share or pag mamay-ari sa ABS-CBN. Malinaw po ito kasi ang humahawak ng PDR ay hindi nakakaboto sa kahit anumang bagay sa pamamalakad ng ABS-CBN. Paano ka magiging isang may-ari kung hindi ka pwedeng bumoto sa anumang bagay na may kinalaman sa pagpapatakbo ng kumpanya?”

The Lopez Family also did not sell ABS-CBN, but the company was taken away from them during martial law. After the People Power Revolution in 1986, the Presidential Commission on Good Government, the Supreme Court, and the Office of the President paved the way for the company’s return to the Lopezes.

“Hindi po binenta ng Lopez family ang ABS-CBN. Basta ginamit nalang ng iba ang mga facilities ng ABS-CBN na walang binayaran. Kaya hindi po totoo ang paratang na bigla nalang napasakamay muli sa mga Lopez ang ABS-CBN dahil sila naman ang tunay na may-ari nito,” he said.

The company has been off-air since May 5, after it received a cease and desist order from the National Telecommunications Commission.

Written by J M

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