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Marcos ‘won’t block new franchise’ for broadcaster ABS-CBN

Philippine President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr has said he will not block efforts to give the broadcaster ABS-CBN a new legislative franchise.

ABS-CBN halted its broadcast operations in May 2020 after a parliamentary committee rejected its bid for a new 25-year franchise.

The decision followed criticism of the broadcaster by then President Rodrigo Duterte, who complained that it had failed to air his campaign advertisements during the 2016 presidential elections.

Speaking in a television interview on 13 September, Mr Marcos denied ABS-CBN had failed to get a franchise because of its “political position” against Mr Duterte. He said the franchise was denied for “technical reasons”.

So long as those issues were resolved, there was no reason for ABS-CBN to be denied a new franchise, he said.

The Manila Times quoted a spokesperson for ABS-CBN as saying the company did not intend to release a statement on Mr Marcos’s remarks.