Filipino lawmakers have overwhelmingly voted to deny ABS-CBN a 25-year renewal of its broadcasting license.
The Committee on Legislative Franchises denied ABS-CBN’s franchise application in a 70 to 11 vote. The broadcaster, who has been off the air since May, has been criticized by President Rodrigo Duterte.
ABS-CBN Chairman Mark Lopez said it was a “sad day for the entire ABS-CBN family and for the millions of Filipinos who are hoping for our return on-air,” in a statement. “We remain hopeful that better days are ahead for the network. This painful development will only make us stronger and better. We will never give up on our mission. We will never give up on our nation.”
President and CEO Carlo Katigbak added, “We believe that we have been rendering service that is meaningful and valuable to the Filipino public. We remain committed to public service, and we hope to find other ways to achieve our mission. Together with our employees and our audiences all over the world, we share in your sadness over this setback. We look forward to the day when we can again reunite under our broadcast.”