LAST Friday’s Senate hearing on ABS-CBN’s franchise was one of the informative hearings we have witnessed. A number of issues were clarified.
One was what Duterte has been saying since the beginning of his presidency: That ABS-CBN collected money from him for his political ads which the network didn’t air. They did not return his money, he claimed. He even called the Lopezes, ABS-CBN owners “estafador.”
The Fact as explained by ABS-CBN president and CEO Carlo Katigbak:
“The President placed an order for P117 million worth of national ads, of which we aired all P117 million. In other words po, a hundred percent of the President’s ads which were ordered for national airing were accommodated and broadcast and aired by the station,” Katigbak said.
Katigbak said it was in the local ads placement that they encountered a problem because only two minutes of local ads can be aired in an hour and many spots were already ordered on May 3, 2016, four days before the last day of the campaign period.
“Our policy on all our ads is first come, first served… There had been many previous telecast orders that came in ahead of the President’s telecast order,” he said.
He explained that out of the unaired ads, around P4 million was initially refunded and accepted by the Duterte campaign group.
He said there was a delay in the refund of the remaining P2.6 million and when they finally sent the refund, it “was no longer accepted by the President.”
This is where he made the apology. “On this issue, we acknowledge our shortcoming in our failure to release the refund in a timely manner.”
Not surprisingly, presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo twisted Katigbak’s apology, forgetting that Duterte has been lying about the circumstances of the ad payments the past three years.
Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go, who continues to act as the President’s aide and oftentimes spokesperson, revealed another angle to Duterte’s rage against the broadcast giant.
He said it was the airing of an ad paid by Antonio Trillanes IV, then a senator and running for vice president in the 2016 elections.
It was an ad where young boys and girls were reacting to Duterte’s statements.
To a video clip where Duterte was saying “Patayin ko kayong lahat,” the boy said “Mali po ang pumatay.”
To Duterte’s cursing of the Pope, a girl asked, “Tama ba murahin ang Santo Papa?”
To Duterte’s boast of wanting to have been the first one to rape the Australian missionary, a girl said, “Mali po mambastos ng babae.”
The same political ad was aired in other TV stations.
Then vice presidential candidate Alan Peter Cayetano was able to get a restraining order from a court in Taguig where the Cayetanos are based.
Go said it was “black propaganda.”
A day after ABS-CBN began airing the advertisement, Duterte’s running mate, now Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, secured a temporary restraining order from a Taguig court.
In a statement, Trillanes said, “Duterte/Bong Go’s assertion that the airing of my advertisement is the reason why the ABS-CBN franchise should not be renewed is a lie.
First, there’s nothing illegal about the ad itself and the airing of the ad. Second, the same political ad was aired in GMA7 and yet Duterte never complained about it when its franchise was renewed. So, definitely there is another ulterior motive in the blocking of ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal.”
The ad is available online. Watch and judge it for yourself.