By Raissa Robles
Solicitor-General Jose Calida has made it very, very clear that Philippine Depositary Receipts or PDRs are bad for media companies.
PDRs are financial instruments sold to local and foreign investors by ABS-CBN through a separate company called ABS-CBN Holdings Corp. When ABS-CBN gives out dividends, ABS-CBN Holdings obtains part of the dividends, which are then distributed to the PDR holders, minus a management fee.
Calida said ABS-CBN’s use of PDRs violates the Constitution which requires media companies to be 100% Filipino-owned. He warned that “criminal liability is also imposed on those who violate foreign equity restrictions and evade nationalisation laws of the Philippines through various modes of proxy arrangement, making it appear as legal, but the entirety of the arrangement is to accomplish a transaction not allowed under Philippine laws”.
Bashed by critics for this move, Calida said he would have been remiss if he had not filed a quo warranto suit before the Supreme Court to scrap the ABS-CBN franchise.
And yet, in April 2017, President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law Republic Act No. 10925 which is “An Act Renewing for Another Twenty-Five (25) Years the Franchise Granted to Republic Broadcasting System, Inc., Presently Known as GMA Network, Inc., Amending for the Purpose Republic Act No. 7262, Entitled “An Act Granting the Republic Broadcasting System, Inc. a Franchise to Construct, Install, Operate and Maintain Radio and Television Broadcasting Stations in the Philippines.”
Please click on this link to see a copy of RA 10925 with Duterte’s signature.
When Duterte approved GMA’s franchise, Calida was the Sol Gen.
But Calida did not lift a finger to tell Duterte or warn the public that GMA’s PDRs were also unconstitutional.
You can see for yourself on the Philippine Stock Exchange website that the PDRs of ABS-CBN – the object Calida’s public bashing – and the PDRs of GMA are similar.
Please click on this link and this link.
Please read more about this in my Opinion piece in South China Morning Post today. It’s my way of remembering the 1986 Edsa People Power uprising.
The Philippines’ ABS-CBN network is again fighting to survive, 34 years after liberation from Marcos
Rebel forces freed Southeast Asia’s oldest broadcast network from the clutches of Ferdinand Marcos’ regime on February 24, 1986
Three decades later, Duterte’s administration is seeking to shut the broadcaster’s operations – unlike Marcos, he won’t need the military’s help
By Raissa Robles
On February 24, 1986, rebel soldiers liberated the Philippines’ ABS-CBN Corporation from the brutal control of the Ferdinand Marcos dictatorship. Now, 34 years later, Southeast Asia’s oldest private TV and radio network once again faces a threat to its existence.
Owned by the powerful Lopez family, the network was shut down and turned into a state propaganda arm on the night Marcos imposed martial law on September 22, 1972. The regime used ABS-CBN facilities to broadcast via MBS Channel 4 and Philippine News Agency.
According to then-Colonel Ramon Montaño: “We were organised into special task forces. The first order was to close the media.”
To read the rest, please click on this link…
Just a note. My blog post is sometimes used by ABS-CBN but I have not written on my blog for a long time.
Also, my South China Morning Post opinion piece contains a photo by photo journalist Sonny Camarillo of the interior lobby of ABS-CBN during its liberation by rebel forces in 1986. The central figure in the photo is the late Lt. Col. Rodolfo Aguinaldo. The woman behind him, holding out a mini cassette recorder, is me. I don’t know why I was so fearless then. Maybe because it was the first time I was covering a revolution. To enlarge the photo, pls click on this link.
Unlike in 1972, the country was under martial law – but nowadays, its only in Mindanao that the state of national emergency prevails due primarily to the Marawi rebellion and the Abu Sayaf marauders.
The lapdogs of DU30 – Solgen Callida and speaker Alan Cayetano, lost no time to appease their boss – the former immediately filed a quo warranto case with the Supreme Court to stop the Networks from operating while the latter – a remnant from the Aryan Race, conveniently sits on various pending bills renewing the franchise of Abs-Cbn for another 25 years.
No national leader, to include their family, ever hold on to power for the longest time – and 2022 is just around the corner. DU30’s candidate for president is very likely his daughter and mayor of Davao City – Sara Zimmerman Duterte-Carpio – and her likely opponent is Vice President Maria Leonor Gerona Robredo.
DU30’s governance is going smoothly until he stirred the hornets’ nest. His pet peeve has millions of Filipinos who listen and watch their variety of programs and many are aghast at the way Duterte unleashed the ferocious power and fury of his position to destroy the Abs-Cbn.
Like father – like daughter. The unexpected blunder of DU30 may adversely affect the candidacy of Sara and I, for one, will not vote for her
I’m not forgetting bong go. already he’s busy go-ing himself: gocebu, gotarlac, gopampanga, etc. would be very easy for him to resign from senate and go for much higher office, the man is ambisyoso and would not be spreading himself for nothing.
and seeing all those ‘go’s’ almost anywhere I look, I’ve developed malady tuloy and adding ‘go’ as prefix to almost anything and everything: gonasty, govirus, gobalikprobinsya, gohungry, gowalangtrabaho, etc.
and like the last election, if there is computer glitch again, bong marcos might just become president, lol!
still, palagay ko the dabawenyos could well keep power concentrated in dabaw. between bong go and sara, may the best presidentiable win. after all, no hard feelings in politics only cannibalism, lol!
and for once, I agree with ex-senator enrile that abs-cbn’s licence be renewed instead of it being given temporary extension. dahil kasi if times comes up for abs-cbn to re-renew temporary extension, kamara would have to re-hash the same old tired arguments, the same grounds of misconceptions that have and been answered, debunked, and laid to rest.
Sen. Bong Go is good only as long as DU30 is in power. He seems to have acquired lots of money during the long incumbency of DU30 as Mayor of Davao City.
In 2022 presidential election, many are betting big money that Sarah will emerge as the victor to ensure that her father will not experience the same fate as GMA when PNoy came to power – on the assumption that her father is healthy and will finish his term.
I was once a die-hard Dutertards but he seems to deviate lately as a good father of the country when he unleashed his anger against Gabby Lopez and reportedly hinted that as long as he is the president, the franchise of Abs-Cbn will not be renewed. Moreover, he allegedly advised Gabby to sell his giant networks to one Dennis Uy, which the latter immediately expressed his unwillingness to said transaction.
Power, politics and corruption always go together
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Tagal naman ng hintayan, mahigit nang 20 hours.
Duterte must be looking for a quid pro quo. Like, ABS-CBN will be allowed to operate, in exchange of favorable reporting from the network, or maybe, he wants the said broadcasting business for himself like Marcos did.
What is Omnibus Election Code’s Article 12, Section 264?
Who can do research on ‘statement of contributions and expenditures (SOCE)’ on the last 2016 Presidential election?
Can PRRD be served with a quo warranto?