MANILA - The government should deposit to the National Treasury earnings from sequestered assets, minus the cost of their upkeep, the head of a state agency tasked to run after ill-gotten wealth said Wednesday.
This is in keeping with the "doctrine of fairness" under the law, Presidential Commission on Good Government Commissioner John Agbayani told a House hearing on ABS-CBN Corp's franchise renewal.
Wednesday's hearing tackled the network's return to its owners, the Lopez family, after the fall of the Marcos regime in 1986. The late strongman's government seized the network when martial law was declared in 1972.
"If the purpose sa paggamit ng gobyerno sa sequestered asset ay pagnenegosyo at kikita ang gobyerno (If the purpose is for business and the government will earn), well under the doctrine of fairness then the excess from the preservatory expenses should be deposited to the National Treasury," Agbayani said.
After the fall of the Marcoses in 1986, it was discovered that state broadcaster RPN-9 was leasing ABS-CBN equipment, said Cavite 4th District Rep. Elpidio Barazaga.
Deputy Speaker Rodante Marcoleta had claimed that ABS-CBN prematurely reacquired its assets in 1986 prior to the completion of arbitration proceedings.
Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, the author of one of the franchise renewal bills, said the ownership issue was put to rest when ABS-CBN secured a franchise in 1995.
news.abs-cbn.com is the official news website of ABS-CBN Corp.