NEUTRAL? President Rodrigo Roa Duterte delivers a speech on January 17, 2020. Malacañang photo
Claim: President Rodrigo Duterte is “completely neutral” on the issue of broadcast giant ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made this claim in a PTV4 interview on Wednesday, May 6.
“The President will be neither angry nor happy. He is completely neutral. Vote as your conscience dictates,” Roque said, referring to the House of Representatives’ vote on the network’s franchise renewal.
The facts: Duterte has made several threats to block ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal during his term. (READ: TIMELINE: Duterte against ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal)
As early as March 2017, Duterte lashed out against ABS-CBN for allegedly writing unfair news about him, cursing the network and its owners and saying it publishes trash. “[Someday] – hindi ko tinatakot – but someday, ‘yung karma, darating ‘yan (Someday – I am not scaring them – but someday, karma will come),” he said.
In April 2017, Duterte accused the network of “swindling” him, claiming it failed to show his political advertisements during the 2016 campaign season. He then said he will file a complaint and would “block” ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal. Duterte issued another threat in May 2017, saying he will file charges of “multiple syndicated estafa” against the network.