Terminated ABS-CBN, TV5 deal creates 'chilling effect' on press freedom, businesses — lawmaker

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 24) — The termination of the investment deal between media companies ABS-CBN and TV5 would "cause a chilling effect" on press freedom and businesses, House Deputy Minority Leader and ACT Teachers party-list Rep. France Castro said on Sunday.

Castro also described the decision of both companies to no longer push through with their agreement as "unfortunate."

Last week, ABS-CBN said it "mutually agreed" with TV5 to scrap the deal. This came shortly after some members of the House of Representatives questioned the Lopez-led company's target to acquire 35% of TV5.

READ: ABS-CBN to no longer buy a third of TV5; Cignal's investment in Sky Cable cancelled

SAGIP party-list Rep. Rodante Marcoleta, one of the lawmakers who blocked the Kapamilya network's franchise renewal, claimed TV5 violated its franchise by entering into a deal with ABS-CBN.

Three House Resolutions seeking a probe into ABS-CBN and TV5 were filed.

RELATED: Lawmakers seek probe into ABS-CBN, TV5

"Their only fault, as the Duterte administration and its minions see it, is that they continued to report and broadcast the abuses, blunders, and inefficiencies of the past administration. Now these minions are continuing this media harassment even with the deal with TV5," Castro said.

"Such a practice, trying to muzzle media is inimical to democracy and now harassing even an above board business deal will send a negative signal to investors that some officials in this country are unprincipled, whimsical, and vindictive. Surefire signs of a very bad investment climate in the country," he added.