This was the message of Speaker Alan Cayetano to the Lopez family a few days after a House committee put the nail in the coffin on ABS-CBN Corp.’s franchise.
“As to the oligarchs, like the owners of ABSCBN, whose historical institutional DNA is programmed to protect and grow their fortunes by controlling and abusing the system, they also deprive the country of billions in much needed funds by skirting and bending the law. Many times in connivance with the political elite,” said Cayetano.
“We simply put an end to the privilege of one family in using a public resource to protect and promote their private interests…Can anyone who is familiar with Philippine history and politics have the same doubts when it comes to the network’s owners? Or that they leveraged the influence of the network to gain access to favored government contracts?”
Cayetano cited the Lopezes’ tax avoidance scheme as one of the biggest abuses they committed which made ABS-CBN’s debacle inevitable.
Cayetano noted that the rival GMA Network paid P3.13 billion in taxes from 2017 to 2019 versus the P563 million total taxes paid by the much bigger ABS-CBN during the same period.
“This makes it crystal clear that something has gone terribly wrong with the system…Their methods for avoiding taxes in the billions of pesos may appear ‘legal’, but how can you argue that putting that much money in the pockets of one family, instead of having it benefit the millions of Filipinos who desperately need it, is in any way right or moral?” said Cayetano.