ABS-CBN 'executioner' Marcoleta defends placement of political ad at Kapamilya network

House Deputy Speaker and 1SAGIP Partylist Rep. Rodante Marcoleta defended on Saturday, Nov. 27 the placement of his political advertisement at ABS-CBN, erstwhile broadcast network giant which he helped close down through the rejection of its legislative franchise application.

Rep. Rodante Marcoleta2

Marcoleta, who has filed his candidacy for senator in next year’s elections, said the Kapamilya network’s decision to accept his political advertisement is an indication of the “network’s openness to reform given its perceived partiality” that partly triggered the Lower House’s decision to reject the network’s bid for another 25-year legislative franchise last year.

He stressed that the decision to choose outlets for his political advertisement was not his but by the advertising agency his camp tapped for the campaign.

Marcoleta stood out prominently as among the congressmen who blocked the grant of the ABS-CBN franchise that eventually led for the network’s shutdown last year.

On Saturday, the senior administration lawmaker found himself at the receiving end of strong criticisms from netizens over the exposures by ABS-CBN of his political advertisement.

Despite its closure in 2020, ABS-CBN continued its broadcast operations through block time arrangements with smaller networks. It has also maintained a news website.

“Akala ko ba may nilabag na batas ang Kapamilya network kaya ipinasara nina Marcoleta? Ba’t may pa-ad siya? (I thought Marcoleta closed the Kapamilya network for violating the law. Why has he placed an advertisement?” twitted screenwriter Jerry Gacho.

Gracio was among the thousands of ABS-CBN employees who found themselves without jobs when the Lower House’s Committee on Legislative Franchises junked bills proposing to grant the network a 25-year franchise.

Marcoleta returned fire by chiding Gracio for his alleged “ignorance of the realities in the broadcast industry.” “Candidates for national positions normally employ ad agencies to run their promotional efforts to raise people’s awareness of themselves and their advocacies,” the House official said.

“I neither control nor supervise the works of our ad agency because they know their job well. I don’t decide on which networks to approach to for the propagation of our political advocacies,” he explained.

Marcoleta stressed that the position he took on the non-renewal of the Kapamilya network’s franchise “is not personal.” The solon pointed out that the “network - or what was left of it” has the authority to reject the political advertisement outright.

“It was its choicer to make to begin with,” he said.

“Secondly, I could only surmise that the acceptance of our pol ad is an indication of its legitimacy or a measure of the network’s openness to reform given its perceived partiality that has characterized its usual programming,” stated Marcoleta.

He said ABS-CBN has “every right” to accept or reject the placement of his advertisement.