I don’t want to take sides: JPE says dual citizen Gabby Lopez can own, run ABS-CBN

Former Senator Juan Ponce Enrile thinks House probe on the citizenship of bilyonaryo Gabby Lopez is much ado about nothing.

In a Facebook post, the former Marcos defense minister said the ABS-CBN chair emeritus “is qualified to own and managed a mass media broadcast business in our country.”

“The citizenship of Gabby Lopez alone is a weak ground to deny ABS-CBN Corporation a grant of a new franchise or to deny the extension of the old franchise of ABS-CBN Corporation,” said Enrile who earlier claimed ABS-CBN violated the 1987 Constitution when it allowed foreignesrs to take a stake in the media giant through Philippine Depository Receipts issued in 1999.

Lopez endured two days of getting raked over the coals by critics of ABS-CBN in Batasan in a Zoom conference where details of his voting and travel where public exposed. He was even asked if he could recite “Panatang Makabayan.”

Enrile explained why he made a rare post in favor of Lopez, whose father was jailed during martial law.

“My purpose is not to side with anybody. My purpose is to clarify a factual situation under our Constitution. My personal bias, likes and dislikes, friendship or enmity, personal interest or otherwise do not play any role in my legal studies. I approach the issue without any bias or prejudice to render what I believe to be the correct legal position in a given actual situation,” said Enrile.

Enrile said questioning Lopez’s citizenship was “a weak ground to deny ABS-CBN Corporation a new franchise or to deny the extension of its old franchise.”

“I know that there are other grounds being raised against ABS-CBN. That was why I was very careful in making my statement. I never meant that the only ground raised against ABS-CBN was the citizenship of Gabby Lopez. I understand the anger and emotional bent of others. But being a lawyer, I have to sublimate whatever bias or prejudice I may have against ABS-CBN and adhere closely and only on the legal issues involved,” said Enrile in the comments.

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