ABS-CBN and TV5 officially announced their landmark partnership deal on Friday, August 12.
It looks like Sagip Partylist Representative, Rodante Marcoleta, has his attention fixated more on ABS-CBN than other more pressing social and economic concerns, as he sets his sights on the ABS-CBN-TV5 deal.
On August 15, the ABS-CBN franchise killer Marcoleta delivered his privilege speech in Congress and urged his colleagues to look into the Kapamilya-Kapatid deal, noting that there may be some constitutional violations committed to making it happen.
He also implied that TV5 may have breached constitutional provisions that prohibit foreign nationals to own media entities in the country. He did not specify who it was, but he said that PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund is owned by an Indonesian national. MediaQuest Holdings, the company that operates TV5, is under PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund.
TV5 and PLDT are owned and operated by companies linked to business tycoon Manny V. Pangilinan, who refuted earlier allegations that his partnership with the Lopezes would result in a monopoly of local television.
The party-list lawmaker also noted the disconnect between being a franchise-less media entity and its capacity to somewhat bypass Congress ‘decision to deny the network a franchise and now being able to return to free TV via the TV5 investment deal.
“Pupwede ba Mr. Spealer, na ang isang network na hindi na natin binigyan ng lisensya (nIs iteven allowed Mr. Speaker, that a network whose franchise we have already revoked) because of these established violations, wala na siyang prangkisa, puwede ba siya sumakay nang ganon ganon lang (it has no longer a franchise, can it just collaborate just like that), without settling the obligations to the country, the the country, to the government,” he noted.
It can be recalled, however, that several government agencies, including the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and the National Telecommunications Commission, testified to Congress, that ABS-CBN no more has any tax obligations.
Marcoleta earlier expressed his objection to the deal by saying that the said partnership might cause an imbalance in the free TV competition, as ABS-CBN or TV5 may monopolize the local industry. That said, one must not miss that the ABS-CBN shutdown in 2020, allowed GMA Network to practically monopolize the local TV industry, by capturing an inordinately big chunk of the viewing demographic.
The Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP), through its President Herman Basbaño, opposed such a claim, saying ABS-CBN’s joint venture with TV5, may ensure that no monopoly will incur, as it can be noted that GMA Network currently enjoys its leadership on free TV, without a major rival.