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Rep. Mike Defensor’s counter arguments on ABS-CBN PDRs lean on to being ‘biased’?

Counter arguments on ABS-CBN PDRs aren’t pro or anti according to Mike Defensor, but it leans on to the latter instead

Rep. Michael Defensor was blasted on social media after saying that there is no such thing as pro or anti-ABS-CBN regarding the media giant’s franchise renewal.

“Gusto ko pong linawin na walang pro o anti-ABS-CBN dito. Importante lang po na tanungin namin ‘yung tamang tanong at malaman ang katotohanan,” said Defensor.

However, during a joint congressional committee on Thursday, Defensor said PDRs (Philippine Depositary Receipts) are a form of ‘excuse’ to give foreigners the opportunity to bypass the strict constitutional provision on full Filipino ownership in media companies.

“Ang PDRs ay pagtatago sa tunay na pagmamay-ari ng dayuhan,” he calimed.

Netizens went after Defensor and his colleagues for showing their true bias against the network.

“Sana bago yung next hearing, makita natin at mapag-compare natin kung pare-parehas ba ang laman ng kanilang PDRs,” Bulacan 1st District Rep. Jose Antonio Sy-Alvarado said, ordering the copies of PDRs from other broadcast operations that have already been granted new franchises to make a comparison.

ABS-CBN legal counsel Cynthia Del Castillo stated that PDR holders are merely ‘passive investors’ who have no control over a company.

She made it clear that it was ABS-CBN Holdings Corp, not ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corp that issued PDRs in 1999, which at the time was described as “beneficial” to the government and capital markets during the Asian financial crisis aftermath.

But Defensor considers this as a “circumvention of our constitution,” which saw PDR holders benefiting from the company despite them not being listed as owners or shareholders.

“Pwedeng sabihin, anti-dummy.

“Merong banyaga, merong kinabitan na korporasyon na Pilipino, pero ang kita, ang pagmamay-ari, sa katotohanan, kanya,” he said.

Meanwhile, GMA Network said it maintains the legality of its issuance of PDRs saying this was done in compliance with the regulations of the SEC and of the Philippine Stock Exchange.

“The Network will fully comply and submit the necessary documents as requested in the House of Representatives’ committee hearing held today, June 11, 2020,” it said.

Written by JO-EST B. TAN

0917 159 6675

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