The Lopez family got back its family jewel, ABS-CBN Broadcasting, 36 years ago after it was forcibly taken over by the dictator Ferdinand Marcos during Martial Law.
And not even a possible return to power by the Marcos family forced the Lopezes to let go of the fallen media giant, with or without a franchise.
“The family has decided they would rather close down than sell ABS-CBN,” said a Babbler.
There is rising speculation that ABS-CBN’s assets could end up in the hands of a cousin of former senator Bongbong Marcos especially if the latter wins as president in the May 2022 elections.
Bilyonaryo Martin Romualdez – a son of the late Kokoy Romualdez, the brother of former first lady Imelda Marcos – has long cast a moist eye on ABS-CBN especially since the Lopez family lost its franchise in 2020.
The Deputy Speaker’s Prime Media Holdings (PRIM), which was granted a national broadcasting franchise by Congress in 2020. where he sits as Deputy Speaker, currently airs ABS-CBN shows on its television stations in Leyte through a deal with Brother Eddie Villanueva’s A2Z network.
In his blog, investment banker Leo Alejandrino wrote about the imminent victory of Marcos barring “a legal technicality (disqualification) or an act of God” and how the business landscape would look under his watch.
“The biggest plum remains ABS-CBN with a Marcos relative reportedly already eyeing it,” said Alejandrino.
“The cronies of the father are mostly gone but there could be some retro-active accounting. New players will emerge from the friends and relatives but that is to be expected. Most of the lucrative opportunities have been largely taken by the established tycoons and Duterte friends so the action could be in the reshuffling and in the creation of new economic enclaves. A prominent Duterte ally is already said to be peddling his enterprises,” he added.