Enrile: Ownership of ABS-CBN remained with Lopez despite sequestration order

Image screenshot from Rappler's video via YT
  • Enrile said the Lopez family never lost ownership of ABS-CBN
  • This despite the sequestration order by Marcos against the media outlet in 1972
  • He also disputed Lopez’s claim that Marcos took the ABS-CBN from them

MANILA, Philippines – The Lopez family never really lost ownership of ABS-CBN despite Marcos’ sequestration order during the martial law years; this was affirmed by former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile.

Enrile was the architect and chief implementor of martial law during which several private assets and properties, including those of the Lopezes, were ordered sequestered by Marcos who eventually transferred its control to his cronies.

Enrile, EDSA| Image from Positively Filipino

At the hearing in the Lower House on Tuesday, Enrile was invited by lawmakers to give his testimony on the sequestration order against the network ABS-CBN.

The former defense minister during the Marcos years said that upon the implementation of martial law, they were ordered to sequester all media and broadcast outlets, communication facilities, both local and international, in order to ‘control the situation so that there will be no reaction or opposition to the declaration of military rule’.

“The facilities of the entire ABS-CBN complex, broadcast complex, were placed under the control of the government. The title of all of these facilities was never transferred to the government. They remained with the owners,” Enrile recalled.

Jake Lopez| Image screesnshot from ABS-CBN video via YT

Enrile, however, disputed the earlier claim by former ABS-CBN general manager Augusto “Jake” Almeda Lopez that Marcos took ABS-CBN from the Lopez family.

Dating GM: ‘Di isinauli sa amin, kinuha namin ang ABS-CBN

Jake Lopez, who also gave testimony at the hearing, earlier said ABS-CBN was never returned to them by the Aquino government but rather they had to forcibly take it back in 1986 from the Marcos regime.

But Enrile admitted that after sequestration, ABS-CBN was placed under the control and management of the Benedicto group of companies until 1986 ‘for purposes of being used by the government to broadcast information throughout the country’.

It was only in February 1986, at the height of EDSA People Power, when Enrile, as Secretary of National Defense and ‘sequestrator of ABS-CBN and all the other television, radio and communication facilities in the country’ finally lifted the sequestration order.

Watch Enrile’s testimony in a video shared by PTV via their YouTube channel: