Dominguez sees boost in investor confidence if allegations vs ABS-CBN proven

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 18) — Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III sees a boost in investor confidence if Solicitor General Jose Calida’s allegations against ABS-CBN are proven.

“There’s a claim by the OSG (Office of the Solicitor General) that there’s a violation of the regulations. In fact, it might be a constitutional violation. I think if that’s proven, the investors will say ‘Oh these guys are upholding the rule of law,’” Dominguez told reporters Tuesday.

The position of the Finance chief — President Rodrigo Duterte’s finance manager during his 2016 campaign — is a far cry from the stance of Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia who said the looming shutdown of ABS-CBN may hurt investor confidence.

Political analyst Dindo Manhit also told CNN Philippines on Monday that President Rodrigo Duterte’s attacks on ABS-CBN and other big businesses, like water concessionaires Maynilad and Manila Water, create an uncertain regulatory environment that can spook investors.

“Let’s not have a certain regulatory environment that puts question or danger in this investment. Because at the end of the day the one who will suffer is the Filipino people who might lose jobs,” Manhit said.

Calida on February 10 asked the high court to cancel ABS-CBN's legislative franchise weeks before it lapses. He claimed the network committed "highly abusive practices" in violation of terms set by Congress when it approved ABS-CBN's franchise in 1995 when it set up the KBO channel and when it supposedly allowed foreign investors to control the company.

ABS-CBN’s legislative franchise remains pending in the House, where lawmakers are not inclined to start hearings on the issue until May, two months after the TV network’s franchise expires.