Tolentino to ABS-CBN: “Hindi nila na-air yung ads ko. Hindi man lang sila nag apologize, delayed pa yung refund”

Photos courtesy of Lionheart TV and Rappler 

Senator Francis Tolentino aired his disappointments over suspended media giant ABS-CBN for allegedly failing to air his several paid campaign advertisements during the final stretch of the 2016 and 2019 senatorial elections.

The former Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman made the statement in reaction to Monday’s hearing of the House Committee on Legislative Franchises, wherein ABS-CBN President Carlo Katigbak admitted their shortcomings.

Katigbak said the Kapamilya network was not able to air the political advertisements not only of President Rodrigo Duterte but also of other political candidates during the height of the campaign period for the 2016 polls.

Tolentino further said, ABS-CBN did not only fail to apologize to him for not airing his paid ad but also it took some time to process his refund before it was finally returned to his camp.

“Hindi nila na-air yung ads ko. Hindi man lang sila nag apologize… no apology, na delayed pa yung refund” said Tolentino via text message sent to Politiko and Abante.

Tolentino was originally included as a senate candidate in the LP-endorsed Daang Matuwid Koalisyon but fell short during his 2016 senatorial candidacy. 

He made a political comeback when President Rodrigo Duterte endorsed him and placed 9th during the May 2019 midterm polls.

Tolentino also a former Tagaytay City Mayor, emphasized that the Lopez-controlled media conglomerate also failed to air some of his advertisements during last year’s midterm election.

During the House Committee 's inquiry last Monday, Katigbak also recognized that aside from President Duterte and Tolentino, his network also failed to air the political advertisements of other candidates from all political camps back in 2016.

This includes President’s former running mate, then Senator now House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, current Vice President Leni Robredo, and defeated vice-presidential bet Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.

It also shows that the Liberal Party standard-bearer Mar Roxas, PRRD’s closest contender in the 2016 election, also paid for ads that were no longer broadcasted by ABS-CBN during the campaign season due to lack of air time.

Katigbak also said they failed to air ads of these winning senatorial bets: Leila de Lima, Francis Pangilinan, Ralph Recto, and Juan Miguel Zubiri.

In the same hearing, Committee on Accounts chair and Cavite Rep. Bambol Tolentino, Sen. Tolentino’s brother, scrutinized ABS-CBN News and Current Affairs chief Regina “Ging” Reyes over the network’s alleged bias reporting.

According to Rep. Tolentino's claimed that he and his brother who previously served as chair of the MMDA were victims of character assassination by the Lopez network and were not given a chance to air their sides on air.

Sen. Tolentino has sued in 2017 veteran ABS-CBN broadcaster and former Leyte Rep. Ted Failon for libel over an alleged malicious report regarding the alleged anomalies on the emergency purchase of second-hand motorcycles in 2014.

The court showed the former MMDA chair was able to show proof that purchasing second-hand units is allowed by law and that he used his personal funds to make such last minute procurement which was used during the 2015 Papal Visit.

In his reply, Katigbak has vowed that if ever Congress grants them a new franchise, he will make sure to give public officials a chance to air their side whenever they are dragged on a certain issue.

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