Teves urges House to probe Romualdez-led company’s deal with ABS-CBN

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 29) — Suspended Negros Oriental 3rd District Rep. Arnolfo Teves called for an investigation into the planned joint venture deal between Prime Media Holdings, Inc., a listed company supposedly led by House Speaker Martin Romualdez, and former broadcast giant ABS-CBN.

During a briefing on Monday, Teves questioned the Speaker’s supposed meddling in the media business, despite him being part of a body that approves their franchises.

“Itatanong ko rin ‘yan. Bakit hindi ‘yan ini-imbestigahan sa committee on ethics?” he said.

[Translation: I will raise that question. Why is it not being investigated by the committee on ethics?]

ABS-CBN disclosed last week that it would form a joint venture with Prime Media Holdings, which would focus on producing programs to be supplied to broadcasters and other third-party platforms including Philippine Collective Media Corporation (PCMC).

Founded in 2008 by Romualdez—a first cousin of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., PCMC’s broadcast operations were initially limited to the Eastern Visayas region. The company secured its franchise in November 2009.

In a bid to cement its position in the broadcast market, the RYM Business Management of the Romualdez family acquired majority stake in Prime Media almost a decade ago, allowing it to expand its portfolio outside mining and real estate.

Previous reports stated that Romualdez seeks to expand the reach of RYM Business Management.

ABS-CBN, meanwhile, went off the air in May 2020. Romualdez was among those who voted against the renewal of the network’s franchise.

“Kung magiimbestiga sila, imbestigahan nila lahat,” Teves said.

[Translation: If they’re going to investigate, they should investigate everything.]

Teves has been tagged as the mastermind in the murder of Gov. Roel Degamo.

The lawmaker refused to return to the Philippines amid alleged threats to his life.

He held a media briefing just before the House Committee on Ethics convened to discuss more sanctions against him.

“I expect the worst. They will do the worst that could happen to me,” Teves claimed.