In a statement released to the media on Thursday (September 1), ABS-CBN Corporation announced their agreement with TV5 will no longer push through, after political pressures from some politicians and government agencies questioning the legitimacy of the agreement.
ABS-CBN was supposed to acquire 34.9% of equity interest in TV5, a deal believed to be a game-changer in the history of Philippine free TV, especially in terms of entertainment production, including film and TV shows.
“The termination was also formalized through a Memorandum of Agreement. The Parties confirmed that they have not implemented any of the transactions covered by the Investment Agreement and the Convertible Note Agreement,” the statement read.
Terminated along with this is the Convertible Note Agreement TV5 was supposed to issue to ABS-CBN, and the 38.8% acquisition in equity of the Lopez-owned Sky Cable by Manny Pangilinan’s Cignal worth P2.86 billion.
Before being canceled altogether, the deal was temporarily paused to answer queries any concerned government agency may have, and after a resolution was filed before the House of Representatives seeking to probe the deal.
SAGIP Party-list Rep. Rodante Marcoleta, one of the chief architects of the killing of the ABS-CBN franchise, earlier said that the merger “left a bad taste in the mouth,” and that Congress must look into the deal as he believes TV5 is foreign-owned.
“This particular deal must be looked into, Mr. Speaker, and I think, because of this deal, we have yet to have let the proverbial cat out of the bag Mr. Speaker. Why? MediaQuest, the parent company of TV5, is owned by PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund. And the grapevine Mr. Speaker is so loud that PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund is owned by an Indonesian national,” Marcoleta said.
In relation to the said deal as well, National Telecommunications Commission, in a memorandum order, has issued a prohibition to companies with legislative franchises to refrain from engaging in business deals with companies “that have outstanding obligations to the national and local governments.”
Marvin Joseph Ang is a news and creative writer who follows developments on politics, democracy, and popular culture. He advocates for a free press and national democracy. Follow him on Twitter at @marvs30ang for latest news and updates. The views expressed are his own.
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