Four business groups led by the Makati Business Club expressed support for the renewal of ABS-CBN Corp.’s congressional franchise for another 25 years.
“We, the undersigned business organizations, express our strong support for a balanced, fair and timely consideration of the bills filed by several lawmakers on the renewal of ABS-CBN Corp.’s broadcasting franchise,” MBC said.
The other business groups that issued the resolution were the Management Association of the Philippines, Institute for Solidarity Asia and Institute of Corporate Directors.
“We fervently urge Congress to judiciously address any issues raised against the company while taking serious account of the bedrock issues of media freedom and free enterprise, which allow businesses to flourish for the overall welfare of our economy and our people,” the groups said.
They issued the statement as Congress has yet to act on the franchise renewal of ABS-CBN and after the Solicitor General filed a petition before the Supreme Court to cancel the media company’s franchise.
The media company led by the Lopez family earlier said that the Office of the Solicitor General’s filing of a quo warranto case against ABS-CBN on alleged violations of its franchise appeared to be an effort to shut down the broadcast network, to the serious prejudice of millions of Filipinos who rely on the network for news, entertainment, and public service.
“These allegations cited by the Office of the Solicitor General in his press statement are without merit. ABS-CBN complies with all pertinent laws governing its franchise and has secured all necessary government and regulatory approvals for its business operations,” the company said.
The network said that its broadcast offerings, including KBO, received the necessary government and regulatory approvals and were not prohibited by its franchise.
The company said ABS-CBN Holdings’ Philippine Deposit Receipts or PDRs were evaluated and approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Philippine Stock Exchange prior to its public offering.
“These are the same instruments used by other broadcast companies to raise capital for the improvement of services,” ABS-CBN said.
The network further said that the ownership of ABS-CBN in ABS-CBN Convergence was undertaken under the same law and structures that were utilized by other telecommunications companies. These are transfers that are approved under the Public Telecommunications Policy Act and are fully compliant with law, ABS-CBN said.
“We reiterate that everything we do is in accordance with the law. We did not violate the law. This case appears to be an attempt to deprive Filipinos of the services of ABS-CBN,” the network said.