|Photo credit to Reuters, Wikipedia, ABS-CBN|
On Friday, August 3 2018, President Rodrigo Duterte in a discourse amid the opening of a drug rehabilitation facility in Malaybalay City, Bukidnon, promised to “never intervene” in ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal, however said he won’t hand it back to the network in the event that he had his way.
The President then revealed that local broadcast network ABS-CBN continues sending emissary to his office to arrange the restoration of its franchise, which is set to lapse on March 30, 2020 and its renewal with House Bill 4349, stays pending at the committee level in Congress.
Speaking before his audience in Bukidnon, President Duterte said he was only sending the media giant’s representative away, focusing on the fact that he has no plans of interceding in its franchise renewal.
|Photo credit to ABS-CBN|
Likewise, the President added that he will not converse with the network at all, yet, will never mediate. But on the off chance that he had his direction, he won’t give the renewal back to them.
“I will not talk to you, but I will also never intervene. Pero if I had my way I will not give it back to you,” PRRD added.
It can be recalled that President Duterte has repeatedly hammered ABS-CBN, alongside other local newspapers, for their assumed bias reports about him, inclusive of his supposed ill-gotten wealth and his questionable war on unlawful medications.
He however from time and again undermined to hinder the franchise renewal of ABS-CBN but never do so. The President then made his vow that he would not intrude in Congress’ procedure for ABS-CBN’s franchise but admitted and emphasized that he personally does not want the broadcast company’s franchise renewed because the network as per him are thieves and are duping small people.
“If I had my way, I would not give it back to you. Magnanakaw kayo e. Niloloko ninyo yung mga maliliit.”, the President exclaimed.
In a similar speech, President Duterte likewise tested the network to prove that he has unexplained riches, as charged by one of his ardent critics, Senator Antonio Trillanes III.
|President Rodrigo Duterte (Photo credit to Business Insider)|
Senator Trillanes has been consistent in denouncing the President for keeping up secret bank accounts since the 2016 national elections and has challenged him to sign waivers permitting the Anti-Money Laundering Council and the Ombudsman to examine the charged records.
With that being said, Pres. Duterte now challenged ABS-CBN to go with him to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas to investigate his record and said that if in any case the account goes beyond P40 million, he will step down from office but if they see less than P40 million in his bank account, he will ask them to fall in line so he can slap them on the face one by one.
“I am challenging ABS-CBN. Magpunta kami sa central bank and I will ask the governor to open my account. Pindot lang ’yan computer,” Pres. Rodrigo Duterte said.
“Pagka-sumobra ng P40 million, I will step down. Pero ’pag hindi umabot ng P40 million, maglinya kayo lahat diyan kay sampalin ko kayo isa-isa.” he uttered.