Duterte threatens to block renewal of ABS-CBN's congressional franchise

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte revealed Thursday his plan to block the renewal of ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporations' 25-year congressional franchise.

Duterte, in an interview with reporters, said ABS-CBN would not be able to secure a renewed franchise under his administration, as he expressed his disappointment over the country's largest television network.

"The ABS[-CBN’s] franchise will be due but it does not need extension because it has been there for about 25 years. The law says it's okay, only if you adhere to journalistic [standards]," the President said.

"But what have you done to us? Estafa, swindling. Not only me but also [Senator Francis] Escudero and others. You collected and committed estafa so I will file a complaint. Congress, no need to renew it," he added.

Duterte has a growing spat with the ABS-CBN for its supposed biased reporting during the 2016 presidential campaign.

The President has repeatedly called the ABS-CBN's story on his alleged hidden wealth as “garbage.”

He has also said that they would soon get their “karma” for “unfairness” in reporting.

ABS-CBN failed to get a new legislative franchise for the operations of its television and radio for another 25 years before the 16th Congress adjourned in June last year.

ABS-CBN's franchise will expire on March 30, 2020.

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