By Argyll Cyrus Geducos
Malacañang slammed Albay first district representative Edcel Lagman for saying that President Duterte’s threat to block the franchise renewal of ABS-CBN was an extrajudicial killing of press freedom.
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo made the statement after Lagman called out Duterte for verbally attacking the broadcast giant and urged the President to just bring his grievances to the proper forum.
In a text message, Panelo refused to comment on Lagman’s remarks, saying the lawmaker will just be earning media exposure.
“We will not respond to another nonsense from him… We will not accommodate him just to make him earn media mileage,” he said.
Panelo added that Duterte’s critics are now just rehashing their accusations against the President.
“Those issues have been bled dry by rambunctious critics like him, and have been responded to before. We will not repeat ourselves,” he added.
Before 2019 ended, Duterte renewed his threat to block the franchise of ABS-CBN to operate because of their failure to air his presidential campaign ads in 2016 even though the network was paid to do so. He also accused the network of not returning his money despite the unaired ads.
On Monday, the President advised owners of ABS-CBN to just sell their company because of the uncertainty of the renewal of their franchise.
“Itong ABS, mag-expire ang contract niyo, mag-renew kayo. Ewan ko lang kung anong mangyari sa inyo (This ABS-CBN, you are trying to renew your franchise which will expire soon. Let’s see if something happens),” Duterte said Monday.
“Ako pa sa inyo, pagbili nyo na ‘yan. Kasi ang Pilipino, ngayon lang makaganti sa inyong kalokohan (If I were you, I will just sell out. Because the Filipino people are just starting to get back at your for your abuses). And I will make sure that you will remember this episode of our times forever,” he added.
Malacañang earlier said that Duterte’s remarks will unlikely affect the Congress’ decision to allow ABS-CBN to continue their operations. Five bills have been filed to extend the franchise for another 25 years.