ABS-CBN's Gabby Lopez: I am a Filipino citizen ‘in thought, word, deed’


Posted at Jun 08 2020 03:00 PM | Updated as of Jun 08 2020 03:07 PM

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MANILA — ABS-CBN Corp chairman emeritus Eugenio "Gabby" Lopez III on Monday said he is a Filipino "in thought, word and deed" as lawmakers continued scrutinizing his citizenship during a hearing on the network's fresh franchise. 

Lopez said in the previous hearing that he was both a Filipino and US citizen because he was born in the US to parents who are both Filipinos. 

He said he only lived in the US during the martial law years under the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, and completed his college and postgraduate degrees there. 

"Other than that, I have lived my whole life in the Philippines... In thought, in word and deed, I am po a Filipino citizen," he said. 

Lopez said he regularly paid "all the taxes that are due in the Philippines." The US gets income tax from Lopez "only after all the taxes in the Philippines is paid," he said. 

The immigration bureau in Manila requires Lopez to bring both his US and Philippine passports when he travels, he said. 

Lopez does not need a visa when he travels to Europe with a US passport and in member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations with his Philippine passport. 

This is the second time that Lopez faced lawmakers who are deliberating on several bills for a new 25-year franchise for ABS-CBN, which regulators forced off air last May 5, a day after its license expired. 

The National Telecommunication Commission in March told lawmakers it would let the country's top broadcaster operate provisionally beyond the May 4 expiration of its license, while bills for its franchise renewal were still pending in Congress. 

However, Calida warned NTC officials that they could face graft charges if they gave ABS-CBN a provisional permit.

Watch a livestreaming of the hearing here: 

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News.abs-cbn.com is the official news website of ABS-CBN Corp.