‘Hubris’: Palace says ABS-CBN should have apologized to Duterte long ago

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 24 2020 03:37 PM | Updated as of Feb 24 2020 05:18 PM

Up to Duterte to accept ABS-CBN apology: Palace

MANILA (UPDATE) - ABS-CBN Corp. should have long apologized to President Rodrigo Duterte, Malacañang said Monday, as it criticized the TV network for its supposed excessive pride.

“Alam niyo na na may atraso kayo, may ginawa ba kayo? Wala. 'Yun ang tinatawag na ‘hubris.’ Masyado kayong mayabang,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said during a Palace press briefing.

(You know that you did something wrong but did you do something about it? Nothing. That’s what you call ‘hubris.’ You’re too proud.)

ABS-CBN Corp President and CEO Carlo Katigbak told a Senate hearing Monday that the company did not intend to offend the President in airing an ad by his critic, former Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, during the 2016 presidential campaign. 

The ad featured clips of Duterte using foul language and making offensive gestures with clips of children asking if what he was doing was right. At the Senate hearing, Duterte's former aide, Sen. Christopher "Bong" Go, called this "black propaganda. 

The ad was pulled out after Duterte's camp sought a temporary restraining order from a Taguig court to take down the material a day after it was first showed.

The network head, during the Senate hearing on issues surrounding the franchise of ABS-CBN, denied insinuations of bias as he insisted that the TV network does not have its own political agenda.

"We were sorry if we offended the President. That was not the intention of the network. We felt that we were just abiding by the laws and regulations that surround the airing of political ads," 
he said.

He also admitted the media firm’s failure to air about P7 million in local ads ordered by then presidential candidate Duterte, a move that Panelo said the network should have done long before.

Katigbak clarified that all the national political ads of Duterte in the 2016 elections were aired but some of his local ads worth P7 million could not be accommodated.

The ABS-CBN chief said around P4 million was refunded to the Duterte camp and admitted that the network was “delayed” in giving back the remaining P2.6 million in ad money and the amount "was no longer accepted by the President."

"On this issue, we acknowledge our shortcoming in our failure to release the refund in a timely manner," Katigbak said.

Duterte has publicly accused ABS-CBN of swindling him over the network’s failure to air all of his paid ads in 2016. He even urged ABS-CBN’s owners to just sell the company as he threatened to block the renewal of the company’s franchise, which expires on March 30.

While ABS-CBN has apologized, accepting it is Duterte's “personal decision,” his spokesman said, even as Malacañang noted that it is “glad” over the media firm’s admission of its fault.

“I’m glad that ABS-CBN has finally admitted its shortcomings to the President. Dapat noon pa nila 'yun ginawa,” Panelo said.

(They should have done that long ago.)

Asked whether the President will consider ABS-CBN’s apology on his views of the network, Panelo responded: “That’s for him [to decide]. That’s personal to him.”

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