Duterte Rejects License Renewal for Philippines’ Largest Media Network

14 Juillet, 2020, 10:54 | Auteur: Christine Menetries
  • ABS-CBN- PHilippines

Corp. shares were halted by the Philippine Stock Exchange on Monday after lawmakers rejected the bid of the nation's biggest media company for a new 25-year franchise.

ABS-CBN continues to operate "online, on cable, and on social media", which are not impacted by the rejection of the franchise renewal, according to the report. It has since apologized.

Though Duterte enjoys a supermajority in the lower house, his legal adviser, Salvador Panelo, said the president had no involvement in the decision and "doesn't intrude on the affairs of an equal branch".

Philippine lawmakers voted Friday to reject the license renewal of the country's largest TV network, one of the critical news agencies the president has repeatedly threatened, in a move that shut down a major news provider amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Phil Robertson, the deputy Asia head of Human Rights Watch, called it a "grievous assault on press freedom" not seen since the days of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

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President Duterte's office distanced itself from the issue, saying that it was the sole prerogative of Congress.

A House of Representatives committee on Friday adopted a sub-group's recommendation to deny ABS-CBN's franchise renewal application.

Lawyers and rights groups accuse the president's allies of persecuting ABS-CBN, at a time when legal cases have mounted against, Rappler, a news website whose reporting has also riled Duterte.

ABS-CBN, which says its 21 radio and 38 television stations reach 70 per cent of the country's 107 million people, can appeal the decision, but minority lawmaker Edcel Lagman said that would likely fail because "there was pressure from leadership".

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