‘Home of City of Stars:’ QC mayor backs ABS-CBN franchise renewal

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 14 2020 05:49 AM

Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte on Thursday said that she is supporting ABS-CBN’s call for the renewal of franchise as the country's largest broadcast network has a "long-standing relationship with the city that goes beyond its media identity." 

“By tradition, Quezon City is also known as a bastion of freedom, knowledge, and diversity, and the presence of multiple media networks in QC embodies these values,” she said in a statement.

“Aside from being one of our city’s top taxpayers, ABS-CBN employs thousands of our city’s constituents, whose families would suffer should its legislative franchise not be renewed,” the mayor added.

Belmonte also noted that the network has also supported many of the city's most significant programs and projects.

“ABS-CBN shares our advocacy to educate the youth by building for us the Eugenio Lopez, Sr.Senior High School for Media Arts and has served as the main partner of our city's street children program through the Bantay Bata 163 Children’s Village,” Belmonte said.

“The city has also entered into several partnerships with the late Gina Lopez in various projects, such as the cleaning of our waterways when the latter was head of the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission. ABS-CBN's Bantay Kalikasan is also our partner in protecting and preserving our La Mesa Ecopark,” she added. 

In seeking to invalidate ABS-CBN's franchise, the government's top lawyer, Jose Calida, accused the company of "highly abusive practices."

ABS-CBN, however, insists it is compliant with all the laws governing its franchise and has secured necessary permits for its business operations.

"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 company said.

President Rodrigo Duterte has repeatedly pledged he would stop the broadcast operations of ABS-CBN, which drew his anger for allegedly refusing to air his campaign ad during the 2016 presidential campaign. 

In December, Duterte even urged the owners of ABS-CBN to just sell the company, saying he would "see to it that you're out." But Malacañang on Tuesday distanced itself from Calida's moves, saying "the President has nothing to do with it.

ABS-CBN operates free TV Channel 2 and radio DZMM, while news.abs-cbn.com is the official news website of ABS-CBN Corp.