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Makati's Leading Businessmen Call on Congress to Renew ABS-CBN's Franchise This Week

The fate of ABS-CBN will be decided this week.
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Makati Business Club (MBC), one of the leading business groups in the country, has reiterated its support for ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal, calling on lawmakers to allow the network’s franchise to continue as this week marks the do-or-die hearing for the ABS-CBN network.

The club’s members count some of the country’s leading businessmen as members, and is known for being vocal regarding national issues. MBC was founded during the Marcos dictatorship by Enrique Zobel, who believed that “the business community should speak out as a single solid voice, not to lobby for its own corporate or sectoral interest, but to support or oppose policies which affected national life,” according to its website.

MBC members include: chairman and CEO Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala of Ayala Corp., Ramon  Ang of San Miguel Corp., Victor Paterno of Philippine Seven Corp., and more.

Here is the full statement of MBC’s stance regarding ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal:

“Aside from protecting press freedom, keeping ABS-CBN on the air will preserve one of the public’s biggest sources of news and information, especially important in the world-of-nation fight against COVID-19, as well has a major platform for businesses to advertise their goods and services, which would help revive the economy, preserve jobs in those businesses, and increase the taxes the government needs for public services. Finally, equal treatment of all companies—especially by regulators, prosecutors, and lawmakers—will signal that rule of law prevailed, encouraging foreign and local investors at a time when we most need their help to create new jobs.”

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A few days prior to releasing a statement on ABS-CBN, MBC also announced its opposition to the Anti-Terrorism Bill before it was signed into law.

Here is the full statement of MBC's stance regarding the Anti-Terrorism Bill: 

“We understand citizens and organizations appeal to the President to veto the Anti-Terrorism bill. We are one with its proponents that we need the proper legal provisions to fight this scourge. However, more thorough discussion is needed to get broad support for a law as important as this, and to strengthen the unity the country needs to fight the bigger health and economic crisis we are facing."

The petition was signed by more than 100 universities, business organizations, labor organizations, religious organizations.

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Anri Ichimura
Section Editor, Esquire Philippines
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