Malacañang has refused to take a stand on proposed imposition of more sanctions against ABS-CBN network even after the firm failed to secure a fresh franchise to operate from the House of Representatives.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said the Palace respects the views of some lawmakers about the network but will not further comment on the matter.
“Wala tayong komento diyan. ‘Yan po ay indibidwal na opinyon ng mga mambabatas, our policymakers (We have no comment on that. That’s the individual opinion of lawmakers, our policymakers). We respect their views but we take no stand,” he said during a Palace press briefing.
Three House officials have floated the possibility of slapping more penalties against the Lopez-owned broadcast corporation, including a P1.97-trillion fine on the network and seizure of its property in Quezon City.
The proposed sanctions against the network were discussed by Deputy Speaker and Sagip party-list Rep. Rodante Marcoleta, Deputy Majority Leader Cavite Rep. Jesus Crispin Remulla and Anakalusugan party-list Rep. Michael Defensor during an online meeting last Friday.
A House committee earlier voted to reject the franchise application of ABS-CBN network after it found the company undeserving of such franchise. The non-renewal of its franchise has forced the media giant to cease some of its operations and lay off workers starting next month.
President Duterte has denied any hand in the shutdown of the broadcast giant, saying it was Congress that rejected the franchise bid of the company. Days after the ABS-CBN lost its franchise bid, Duterte has taken pride in dismantling the country’s oligarchy without declaring martial law.