Why ABS-CBN Opted To Renew Its Franchise In 2014 And Failed

Why did ABS-CBN file the renewal of its legislative franchise as early as 2014, during the term of then President Benigno Aquino, and fail?

The broadcast giant "only has itself to blame" according to an article published in 2016, after the 16th Congress.

A Philippine Daily Inquirer (PDI) report published Saturday (June 11) quoted a source as saying that the House committee on legislative franchise sat on ABS-CBN’s application for franchise renewal, introduced through two bills filed in 2014, because it didn’t have the support of President Benigno Aquino III’s allies.

The Inquirer’s source said Aquino’s allies in Congress “felt the criticisms against the President were too personal and offensive and went to the point of nitpicking.”

Reportedly, the ABS-CBN anchors who made what they called "nasty tirades" against then PNoy were Noli De Castro and Ted Failon.

During the celebration of the 25th anniversary of TV Patrol, ABS-CBN's primetime newscast, at the Manila Hotel on July 27, 2012, then PNoy slammed the program's reportage and anchor (De Castro) for criticizing the government.

Apparently, De Castro made personal side comments and speculations against government projects during the newscast.

On the other hand, then PNoy's allies allegedly wanted to get rid of Failon for his criticisms against cabinet members under the Aquino administration, particularly then DILG Secretary Mar Roxas. The latter was Liberal Party's presidential bet in the 2016 national and local elections.

ABS-CBN opted to renew its legislative franchise in 2014 "because it didn’t want to risk having to go through the process under an unfriendly administration," a source reportedly said.

Another source said that contrary to public belief, ABS-CBN bosses supported the candidacy of presidential candidate Senator Grace Poe instead of Roxas.

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