Duterte Admits Targeting ABS-CBN with 'Presidential Powers'

'Tinira ko talaga sila.'
Photo/s: Presidential Photo

President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday admitted that he used "presidential powers" to target ABS-CBN, which lost its broadcast franchise in 2020, the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Duterte, whose term ends at noon on Thursday, again accused the Lopez-led network of tax evasion even if the Bureau of Internal Revenue had told lawmakers who killed the franchise that ABS-CBN paid its taxes in full.

"Kaya tinira ko talaga sila... I used the presidential powers to tell Congress that you are dealing with scoundrels and if you continue to kowtow with them, kawawa ang Pilipino," Duterte said during the oath-taking of newly elected local government officials of his hometown Davao City.

READ: ABS-CBN Shutdown: One Year Into 'Long, Dark Silent Night'

ABS-CBN went off-air in May 2020 after its franchise expired. In July of the same year, Congress -- dominated by President Duterte's allies -- denied the network's application for a fresh 25-year license that was seen as a fulfillment of the chief executive's threats.

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Duterte has repeatedly threatened to block ABS-CBN's franchise renewal in several speeches throughout his presidency. On Dec. 3, 2019, Duterte told ABS-CBN that “I will see to it that you are out.”


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