“This assertion is remarkably erroneous, lacks objectivity and scant in factual basis. Simply, a false narrative,” Andanar said. “NTC’s (National Telecommunications Commission) cease and desist order is an independent and impartial decision.”“Let us be reminded that President Duterte has accepted the apology of ABS-CBN Corporation and this thereby undermines any assumption that the President was behind NTC’s decision,” he added.ABS-CBN’s shutdown on Tuesday evening made international headlines as rights groups, lawmakers, and the general public decried the shutdown during the coronavirus pandemic.President Duterte had repeatedly threatened to block the renewal of the ABS-CBN franchise, which expired on May 4, over unaired political advertisements during the 2016 elections.Late last year, President Duterte even urged the owners of ABS-CBN to just sell the company. But the Chief Executive accepted ABS-CBN’s apology over the issue of his unaired ad last February.“This is not an issue of press freedom but an issue regarding legislative franchise. Democracy, and the free press and free speech that come with it, is very much alive in the country and effectively protected,” Andanar said.“The mandate of a broadcast franchise issuance and renewal is within the authority of the Congress, and not solely of the President, who only signs the law to be executory,” he added.“Decision regarding the legislative franchise of ABS-CBN falls within the purview and wisdom of Congress and ABS-CBN has the right to pursue any and exhaust all legal remedies it deems necessary to resolve the matter,” he further said.Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, meanwhile, said that President Duterte cannot interfere with the matter since NTC is attached to the Department of Information and Communications Technology, it is a quasi-judicial body that functions independently.“Kung ang Presidente po ay makikialam diyan sa NTC, ‘yan po ay krimen. Ito po ay paglabag doon sa code of conduct for local officials at labag din ito sa anti-graft,” he added./PN MANILA – Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar on Thursday slammed international media reports that allegedly connecting ABS-CBN’s status to the President Rodrigo Duterte’s threats against the company.
My family & I are overwhelmed with thankfulness 🙏🏿 and honored to return home 🏡 to Texas A&M ➕ @aggieMBK! 🏀We are excited about the future, and can’t wait to 👀 the @12thman again tomorrow.#GigEm👍🏼— Buzz Williams (@TeamCoachBuzz) April 3, 2019Williams, who spent the last five seasons at Virginia Tech, will take over a Texas A&M program that went 14-18 this past season, missed out on the NCAA Tournament and fired Billy Kennedy on March 15.According to the Houston Chronicle, Texas A&M is expected to pay Williams at $3.5 million per year — a nice bump from Williams’ $3 million salary at Virginia Tech and Kennedy’s $2.45 million in 2018-19.Williams, 46, is fresh off leading Virginia Tech to a 23-7 regular season and an appearance in the Sweet 16 where the Hokies fell to Duke. He took the Hokies to the tournament in each of the last three seasons. “Thanks to our talented student-athletes, Coach Williams and his staff, Virginia Tech is now one of the most attractive jobs in the nation’s top basketball conference, the ACC,” Babcock continued. “I’m extremely confident that we’ll be able to identify and hire a new head coach who can further build on the success our men’s basketball program has achieved in recent years. Until we have our new head coach in place, we will have no further comment on our search process.” Prior to his stint with Virginia Tech, Williams led Marquette to five NCAA Tournament appearances in six seasons, including one Elite Eight trip and two other Sweet 16 berths. He was an assistant coach at Texas A&M from 2004-06 under Billy Gillispie.Kennedy tallied a 151-116 record during his time at Texas A&M. He reached two NCAA Tournaments and advanced to the Sweet 16 in both 2015-16 and 2017-18. UCLA job search: Jamie Dixon, Mick Cronin emerge as two top candidates, report says Kentucky, John Calipari agree to lifetime deal: ‘Where else would I want to coach?’ “Coach Williams made a very positive impact on the culture of our basketball program at Virginia Tech,” Virginia Tech Director of Athletics Whit Babcock said. “We appreciate all that Buzz and his staff did for our students and our program. We wish Buzz, Corey and their family the very best as they return to their home state of Texas.” According to reports, Williams will be introduced by Texas A&M as early as Thursday, which the Texas native appeared to confirm in a subsequent tweet. Related News The Aggies have their man.Texas A&M has hired Buzz Williams as its new basketball coach as Williams’ former school, Virginia Tech, confirmed his departure.