ABS-CBN Says Sorry to Duterte for Not Airing Ads
In a senate hearing on February 24, ABS-CBN president Carlo Katigbak apologized to the President for failing to air his ads during the 2016 national elections. The ads were worth P7 million.
The broadast network is currently facing a franchise renewal crisis, which is allegedly rooted in President Duterte's displeasure at the company for not airing the ads his campaign paid for during the 2016 national elections.
"We acknowledge our shortcoming in our failure to release that refund in a timely manner," Katigbak said.
Katigbak explained that it was not deliberate.
"We are sorry if we offended the President. That was not the intention of the network. We felt that we were just abiding by regulations that surround the airing of political ads," said Katigbak during the Senate hearing regarding ABS-CBN’s franchise.
"Our policy on all our ads is first-come, first-served. Many of these spots were ordered on May 3, and May 7 was the last day of the campaign period. There had been many previous telecast orders that came in ahead," said Katigbak.
ABS-CBN President Carlo Katigbak says sorry to President Rodrigo Duterte for failing to air ?7 million worth of his political ads during the 2016 elections https://t.co/v2fzuTgKew #ABSCBNfranchise pic.twitter.com/eZTCqtRsCf— CNN Philippines (@cnnphilippines) February 24, 2020
Other politicians’ ads were not aired, too
It was not only Duterte’s political ads that the network had failed to air during the 2016 campaigns. Senators Juan Miguel Zubiri and Francis Pangilinan also revealed that their ads were not aired by the network, but they argue that’s no reason for government to shut down the company.
“We also have grievances, but we should not allow that to cause 11,000 Filipinos to lose their jobs,” said Pangilinan.
In 2018, Duterte vowed to block the franchise renewal of ABS-CBN. Then, in 2019, he told the Lopezes to sell the network to a new owner because he would make sure that the network is shut down by 2020.