Jose Mari Chan Breaks His Silence on His ABS-CBN Stocks and the Network's Shutdown
For the first time, OPM icon and hitmaker Jose Mari Chan spoke about the delayed growth of his stocks in ABS-CBN Corporation.
This is due to the closure of the former giant network after Congress rejected the franchise renewal of ABS-CBN on July 10, 2020.
Among the showbiz personalities who are among the Top 100 stockholders of ABS-CBN Corporation, as of March 31, 2019, Chan is in the Top 9 of the list.
It is based on the website of Lopez Holdings Corporation.
Aside from being a singer, Jose Mari is chairman and CEO of Binalbagan Isabela Sugar Company, Inc. (BISCOM) and A. Chan Sugar Corporation.
He is also the chairman and president of Signature Music, Inc.
According to Money Abundance, Jose Mari Chan currently holds 1,257,130 shares in ABS-CBN Corporation.
If multiplied by the price of P16.56 per share (in February 2020), the total is P20,818,072.80.
During the Summit Media exclusive interview sessions with PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) on September 1, the multi-awarded singer was asked about his shares of stocks in ABS-CBN.
The 76-year-old singer’s direct response, "It’s asleep."
"I don't want to say that it's in a coma, it's probably just hibernating, waiting for the right moment, because ABS-CBN has undergone several crises in the past."
Chan then recounted the first time the network closed in 1973.
He added, “The first one was when martial law was declared, 1973, when martial law was declared.
“And because at that time, President [Ferdinand] Marcos said,‘ We are under threat by the communists, ’okay.
“So, the first thing that he did was to shut down ABS-CBN because he said that they were instigator by the communists.
“Of course, it wasn’t true, but they shut it down.
“But they reopened it as Barangay Broadcasting Company.
"And the second one was because they didn't renew their franchise for whatever reason."
What Chan was referring to was Congress' disapproval of ABS-CBN Corporation's franchise application on July 10, 2020.
Seventy (70) lawmakers, most of whom are allies of President Rodrigo Duterte, voted “Yes” to permanently reject their franchise application.
Only eleven (11) voted "No" to give the franchise back to ABS-CBN.
“I FEEL A LITTLE BAD”
According to Jose Mari, ABS-CBN would have been paid only if it had a shortfall in the government.
He said, “You know, if I were the President, I would say,‘ I will not renew your franchise because you owe the government P37-M or P370-M. Unless you pay that penalty, I will not renew your franchise. ’
"But what they did is, they just said, 'We won't renew your franchise.'
“So I feel a little bad. And I hope that one day, the government would reconsider whatever the penalties that need to be paid, okay?
“Slap it on them, but don’t shut down because the public needs information, they need a network like ABS-CBN that helps to tell the truth, so that you don’t stifle them, you know. That’s my opinion. ”
In early 2020, the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) said that the station had no unpaid taxes.
At the Senate hearing for the network’s franchise renewal in February 2020, Simplicio Cabantac Jr., head of Large Tax Payers Audit Division 3 of the BIR said: “As far as ABS-CBN accounts are concerned they are regularly filing and paying their taxes for the past number of years. ”
Despite this, the Duterte government insists that ABS-CBN is not paying the right taxes.
This story oroginally appeared on PEP.ph. Minor eidts have been made by the Esqurie Philippines editors.