VERA FILES FACT CHECK: ‘Quote’ of ABS-CBN CEO asking why foreign-owned YouTube, Netflix allowed to operate in PH NOT TRUE

A deceptive Facebook (FB) post is making the rounds among thousands of netizens, attributing to ABS-CBN president and chief executive officer Carlo Katigbak a false quote where he questioned the operation of “foreign-owned” streaming services Netflix and YouTube in the country.

FB page Noel Landero Sarifa, named after its owner who describes himself as a “Dutertard” or supporter of President Rodrigo Duterte in his About page, posted on Feb. 25 an image of Katigbak juxtaposed with text that read: “‘Netflix and YouTube are foreign owned. Why are they being allowed in the Philippines?’ - Carlo Katigbak ABS-CBN CEO.”

The post claims the statement -- enclosed in quotation marks -- was made directly by the television network executive.

Edited onto the bottom portion of the image is an inset of Sarifa and his answer to Katigbak’s supposed statement, saying Netflix and YouTube should not be compared with ABS-CBN because their modes of distribution are different.

Katigbak did not make the statement being attributed to him.

The Noel Landero Sarifa page twists a statement Katigbak made during the six-and-a-half-hour Feb. 24 Senate hearing concerning ABS-CBN’s broadcasting license which is set to expire on May 4.

At one point in the hearing, Katigbak spoke about the company’s Kapamilya Box Office (KBO) offering, which is a pay-per-view service that allows subscribers to access a range of scheduled movies via a mobile or web application and a special free-to-air channel for a fee. What he actually said was:

“One final point po on pay-per-view. (National Telecommunications Commission chief) Commissioner (Gamaliel) Cordoba mentioned that we have been overtaken by video-on-demand. I just wanted to point out that many of these video-on-demand services including Youtube and Netflix are not po under the regulatory scope of the various agencies. In fact, many of them don't even operate with a Philippine franchise, and many of them are foreign owned. So I think it, maybe, strengthens our position that KBO should not be taken against us or taken against the public."

Compared to Netflix and YouTube which are both video-on-demand platforms -- a type of service where subscribers can watch video content whenever they want to “regardless of broadcast schedules” -- KBO is a pay-per-view offering, which is a kind of subscription where viewers are able to watch videos and programs “on a fixed, predetermined schedule.”

Katigbak’s statement, captured in a 38-second clip, is also being used by Sarifa to defend his post from netizens who have called his quote inaccurate. However, it can be seen that Sarifa’s quoted statement was not at all made by Katigbak, even in his own clip.

While Sarifa clarified later on in another FB post that “the quote was a meme base (sic) on my (his) understanding,” people sharing the image were still misled into thinking the statement was a direct quote from Katigbak.

A top comment, which received over 400 reactions, read: “In other words they are now washing there hands and using the common word ignorance of the law excuses no one (sic).”

The false quote card, which was posted just a day after the Senate hearing on ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal, has been shared over 6,600 times and has received more than 7,400 reactions from netizens. It could have reached more than 3.3 million social media users, with FB pages IMEE and 20,000,000 Likes to Jail Noynoy Aquino, and public FB group President Rody Duterte Facebook Army generating the most traffic to it.

The page was created May 10, 2019.

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

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