ABS-CBN FRANCHISE AN ISSUE OF OLIGARCHICAL OVERREACH? YES AND NO.

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Anak Kalusugan partylist Representative Michael “Mike” Defensor denies that the issue on the ABS-CBN franchise is about press freedom. ” It is a fight against oligarchs,” says the former student leader who also once served as Executive Secretary under the graft filled administration of former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Hmmm. Yes, it is but no it it’nt.

Defensor says the Lopez family used ABS-CBN as their tool to prop up their political stooges in power, and therefore, is guilty of subverting democracy and freedom in the Philippines. Following Defensor’s logic, then, every single media owner here in the Philippines is guilty, and therefore, should not have been given franchises or permits to operate in the first place.

Isn’t an open secret that CNN Philippines is owned and operated by Mike Defensor’s friend, Ramon S. Ang–the oligarch close to Mr. President, Rodrigo Roa Duterte? Ang purchased the remaining shares of Solar Philippines over RPN 9, a sequestered government station.

How about GMA Channel 7? Take a look at their history and their books and you’ll find several people close to the former first family, Imelda Romualdez Marcos as shareholders of the country’s longest running TV network.

Don’t tell me that TV5 is not under the wings of Manny Pangilinan, the tycoon with several serious interests in utilities and other businesses throughout the country.

Several other TV and radio stations are owned by oligarchs and religious groups. DZRJ is Ramon Jacinto’s baby, a close confidante of President Duterte. DZRH is Elizalde’s since the fifties, the Philippine Daily Inquirer of the Prietos, the ManilaStandardToday of the Romualdezes, Business Mirror of former Ambassador Cabangon-Chua and the Business World formerly of the Locsins and now under the able hands of MVP and the Belmontes.

So, following Mike’s logic— every single one of these media outlets are now open targets of this administration led by someone who “hates” oligarchs–Mr. Rodrigo Roa Duterte, is that it Mike?

Going back to the Lopezes– one can simply back up his charges against the Lopezes if at least one of them is involved in politics. Since the death of Kapitan Geny, no other Lopez has dabbled his or her fingers in politics, with the exception of course, of Gina Lopez who served as DENR secretary. Technically, being a cabinet member is not considered politics at all.

Beaver Lopez, husband of Jackie Ejercito, former presidential daughter of Erap is not at all involved in politics.

Of course, every businessman needs some political muscle obviously as protector of his interests and this is not because the businessman likes it– business is being forced to play with fire from politicians due to the nature of the government–a bureaucracy always ready to flex its regulatory muscle for some juicy favors or monies in exchange. The rotten political system and the bureaucratic syndicates force businessmen to protect their hides against these forces because without political backups, these nefarious forces would just nibble at you inch by inch like barracudas until you’re just flesh and bones.

Hate the Oligarchs so much? Don’t want them to make political over the bakods? Simple, Mike. Fix the system. Get rid of regulators who always want to show they’re powerful by asking firms to do this and do that and eventually pointing to them an easy way out by just giving them monies to “look the other way.”

What’s bad is when oligarchs themselves run for politics just to gain something..

What’s equally worse is when the very motivation why one raises the oligarchical bogey is the intention of creating your own oligarch to replace the one who fell into political disfavor.

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