Press Release
January 3, 2020

Dispatch from Crame No. 692:
Sen. Leila M. de Lima's statement on Duterte's statements urging ABS-CBN to sell


The President's statements against ABS-CBN is eerily reminiscent of his public remarks urging me to kill myself: an obscene display of an authoritarian's propensity to abuse his office for his own twisted ends.

The law is clear on this matter. Whatever perceived slight he experienced from ABS-CBN is a matter for the courts to pass upon, not Congress. The grant of legislative franchise is a prerogative of Congress based on the standard of common good, not on the personal whims of a madman.

It is apparent that these attacks against the ABS-CBN is just part of a bigger, systematic effort to subjugate Filipino companies under the political interests operating through Malacañang, both local and foreign. Just recently, the old tyrant accused the Ayala Corporation and Manny Pangilinan group of "syndicated estafa" and threatened to send their executives to jail. These empty accusations bereft of neither evidence nor any legal basis whatsoever has become a trademark of his administration. We have not seen such level of abuse of the powers of the Office of the President since the Marcos administration.

The ongoing attacks against Filipino corporations operating public utilities and franchises by the President betray his intention to replace them with his cronies or any of the China-sanctioned entities.

Tinatawagan ko ang mga ahensya ng gobyerno na panindigan ang mga prinsipyo ng ating demokrasya at labanan ang anumang maling paggamit sa ating mga batas bunga ng kapritso at masamang pulitika.

ABS-CBN should stand firm against these despotic attacks and remain confident of their crucial role in our democracy. The congressional action on their franchise renewal will be the litmus test of our Senators' and Congressmen's commitment to free press and democracy. ###

(Access the handwritten version of Dispatch from Crame No. 692, here:

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