President Rodrigo Duterte stated that he’s not going to allow the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to give ABS-CBN the right to operate even if the Congress will give the media giant a new franchise.
He said that the Lopez family should first pay their said unsettled loans and obligations.
“Congress is planning to restore the franchise. Wala akong problem kung i-restore ninyo but I will not allow them to operate. I will not allow the NTC to grant them the permit to operate,” the president said.
“Unless and until mabayaran ng mga Lopez ang taxes nila, I will ignore your frnachise and I will not give them the license to operate.”
In January, Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque stated that Duterte’s warning to companies regarding their unsettled tax obligations before seeking a new franchise applies to ABS-CBN.
“Lahat iyan ay addressed sa mga nag-a-apply ng prangkisa. Insofar as ABS-CBN is one of them, I guess it’s a safe conclusion that it is also applicable to ABS-CBN and all those who want a franchise,” Roque said during an online briefing.
Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) president Emmanuel Herbosa previously told Congress in January that the said loans of the Lopez group has not been written off.
The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) also clarified that the ABS-CBN Corporation has been regularly paying its taxes for the past years. BIR Assistant Commissioner Manuel Mapoy said that in fact, the company has paid over Php15.3 billion in taxes from 2016 to 2019.
He added that the Kapamilya network has no outstanding delinquent accounts as it was able to pay deficiency taxes.
“ABS-CBN Corporation ay regularly paying taxes for the past years. Na-check naman po na ‘yung dapat nilang i-withhold at na-remit naman nila sa gobyerno,” Mapoy said during the hearing.