MANILA (UPDATE)- ABS-CBN has no pending complaints for violating election laws or for not granting equal airtime to some candidates, an official of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said on Monday.
Efraim Bag-id, acting director of the Comelec’s Campaign Finance Office, told lawmakers that there was no pending complaint against the broadcast network alleging violations of the Omnibus Election Code.
Bag-id added that no political party or candidate has filed a complaint against the network for being biased or partial to another candidate or political party.
The Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) also said that it has no pending complaints against ABS-CBN for violating the Broadcast Code, which mandates fair coverage for candidates.
KBP President Jun Nicdao added that the network complies with KBP’s standards and ethics manual.
Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez said that it was "very clear" in Monday's hearing that ABS-CBN CEO and president Carlo L. Katigbak showed "ABS-CBN has no political agenda, that ABS-CBN has not favored a party or a particular candidate and has been biased against some candidates."
"As shown in the records given by [Katigbak] that in the senatorial elections, all candidates of different parties, they accepted the payment and they were not aired. And this is not only true to one political party but to three or more political parties," Rodriguez said.
"There is no basis therefor to the allegations of bias in the coverage of 2016 elections and the other elections, 2018, 2010 and down all the other years," he added.
National Telecommunications Commission deputy commissioner Edgardo Cabarios and Movie and Television Review and Classification Board officer-in-charge Ann Nemenzo said ABS-CBN has no pending cases in their respective offices.
Opponents of ABS-CBN’s bid for a new franchise have accused the network of political bias and granting airtime to favored candidates while refusing to air the paid political ads of others.
But ABS-CBN has denied these allegations and said that airtime was allotted on a first-come, first-served basis.
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