ABS-CBN is ready to correct shortcomings – CEO

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Media giant ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation admitted its shortcomings and vowed to correct them amid a government move to void an expiring franchise and uncertainties over its renewal, the company's chief executive officer said Thursday. (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 20) — Media giant ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation admitted its shortcomings and vowed to correct them amid a government move to void an expiring franchise and uncertainties over its renewal, the company's chief executive officer said Thursday.

"Serbisyo po ang layunin ng ABS-CBN. Ngunit kami po ay hindi perpekto. Nagkakamali din po kami at handa po naming itama ang anumang pagkukulang," said Carlo Katigbak, ABS-CBN CEO and president, in a statement.

[Translation: ABS-CBN's purpose is to serve. But we are not perfect. We too make mistakes and we are prepared to correct any shortcoming.]

However, Katigbak said he sees no reason for the network to go off the air.

"Wala po kaming nakikitang dahilan para hindi magtuloy ang paglilingkod ng ating ABS-CBN. Gayun pa man, kami ay handang sumunod sa anumang proseso na dapat pagdaanan ayon sa batas," added Katigbak.

[Translation: We do not see a reason for ABS-CBN to discontinue its service. Nonetheless, we are ready to follow whatever process is required by law.]

This is Katigbak's first public statement since Solicitor General Jose Calida sought to nullify the network's franchise through a quo warranto petition. ABS-CBN's franchise will expire on March 30 unless Congress gives it a fresh legislative license.

"Sa aming mga mambabatas, nasa inyong kamay po ang kinabukasan ng ABS-CBN. Nagtitiwala po kami sa sinasabi ninyo na mabibigyan kami ng pagkakataong sagutin ang mga katanungan ng mga mamamayan," said Katigbak.

[Translation: To our lawmakers, ABS-CBN's future is in your hands. We trust in your word that you will give us the chance to respond to the questions of the public.]

Calida said the network committed "highly abusive practices" in violation of terms set by Congress when it approved ABS-CBN's franchise in 1995. These include setting up of the KBO channel without a permit from the National Telecommunications Commission, and when it supposedly allowed foreign investors to control the company.

He also sought a gag order to prevent the network from publicly discussing the issue, which he considered an attempt to sway public opinion.

There are currently 11 bills in the House of Representatives to renew ABS-CBN's legal mandate. These are pending at the committee, but Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano said the House is too busy to discuss the issue. 

On the other hand, the Senate is set to tackle the matter in a hearing on Monday.

Duterte has repeatedly blasted the company, citing its supposed failure to air his political ads during his campaign in 2016.