VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Manny Villar got ABS-CBN’s frequencies, NOT Willie Revillame


A couple of articles erroneously claimed television host Willie Revillame acquired the frequencies of former broadcast giant ABS-CBN after “suffering” in the hands of the network.

On June 25, two websites published an article, one of them which carried the false headline that read: “Kinarma na? Frequencies ng ABS-CBN nakuha na ni Willie Revillame matapos ang pang aapi sa kanya ng Network. (Struck by bad karma? Willie Revillame has taken the frequencies of ABS-CBN after the mistreatment he suffered under the network).”

Embedded in the stories is a video with another untrue title that read: “Matapos ang PANG AAP (sic) SA KANYAI| (sic) WILLIE REVILLAME BAKUHA (sic) NA ang FREQUENCIES ng ABSCBN| DOS KINARMA! (After suffering, Willie Revillame secured the frequencies of ABS-CBN; [Channel] two, hit by karma!).”

It is a false claim. In January this year, the National Telecommunications Commission awarded the former analog and digital frequencies of ABS-CBN to the Manny Villar-owned Advanced Media Broadcasting System, Inc (AMBS).

Revillame revealed in the Feb. 11 episode of his variety show Wowowin that he joined AMBS after Villar personally talked to him to lead the channel programming, as the former senator has no background in operating a television network.

This month, the official Facebook (FB) page of Wowowin released a teaser showing that Revillame met with AMBS President Beth Tolentino, Villar, and his daughter, Las Piñas City Lone District Representative Camille Villar. This post carried the caption “greater things” are coming.

The spurious articles appeared the same day the Wowowin FB page announced that AMBS started its test broadcasting on Channel 2.

Websites NEWS GLOBAL PH and Balitang Pinaz published the stories, which collectively garnered more than 4,200 interactions and may likely reach more than 2.9 million FB users, according to social media monitoring tool CrowdTangle. YouTube channel Showbiz Fanaticz (created on Nov. 9, 2017) uploaded the video, which got more than 118,000 views. 

Its top traffic generators are FB groups Rodante Marcoleta for Senator (May 27, 2020), Mike Defensor For Senator Movement (Aug. 6, 2020), and FB page Solid Duterte 2022 (Aug. 4, 2020)

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(Editor’s Note: VERA Files has partnered with Facebook to fight the spread of disinformation. Find out more about this partnership and our methodology.)