The 30-second ad featured children asking whether the country really wanted the tough-talking mayor as their role model if he wins the presidency.
It then showed various videos of Duterte’s controversial public statements throughout the campaign period which touched on murder, rape, and his excessive cursing.
ABS-CBN has acknowledged that the ad has stirred up a social media firestorm, with Duterte supporters criticizing the use of minors and questioning in turn whether the airing of such a negative ad was ethically correct.
On the other hand, Duterte’s detractors retorted that there was nothing wrong with the advertisement since all the things shown were true and was just a simple compilation of the mayor’s antics.
The network also issued a statement after receiving flak for allegedly being biased, the Inquirer reported.
The statement revealed that the ad was produced and paid for by Senator Antonio Trillanes IV’s camp.
Trillanes has been hounding Duterte since he exposed the mayor’s bank accounts last month, which the independent vice-presidential candidate claimed contained P211 million and with up to billions in past transactions.
“Prior to the airing, ABS-CBN’s ethics committee reviewed the content of the material, which complies with the requirements of pertinent election laws,” the statement read.
ABS-CBN explained that by airing these ads they were not discriminating against anyone.
“By airing the said commercial, ABS-CBN is being consistent with COMELEC guidelines, which prohibit radio or television stations to discriminate in the sale of air time against any political party or candidate. We are duty bound to air a legitimate ad,” they added.
The report also said a negative political ad against Duterte was likewise aired on GMA-7 on Thursday. Radio stations had also aired the same ad before the TV commercials came out.
Earlier, another Inquirer report said that Duterte’s running mate, Senator Alan Peter Cayetano cautioned their supporters to brace themselves for the airing of these negative advertisements aimed at reducing the survey frontrunner’s enduring popularity.