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NTC issues Cease and Desist Order against ABS-CBN effective immediately

NTC issues Cease and Desist Order against ABS-CBN effective immediately

Following the expiration of ABS-CBN’s legislative franchise on May 4, Monday, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) has ordered the media corporation to stop television and radio operations. Implemented on May 5, Tuesday, NTC issues a Cease and Desist Order against ABS-CBN.

Photo from ABS-CBN News

NTC issues Cease and Desist Order against ABS-CBN

NTC cited the Republic Act No. 3846 or the Radio Control Law’. This also says, “no person, firm, company, association, or corporation shall construct, install, establish, or operate a radio transmitting station, or radio receiving station used for commercial purposes, or a radio broadcasting station, without first obtained a franchise therefore from the Congress of the Philippines.”

The Republic Act. No 7966 has already expired. This granted ABS-CBN a 25-year franchise to operate its TV and radio broadcasting stations. NTC has said that the media company “no longer has a valid and subsisting congressional franchise as required by Act No. 3846. After receipt of ABS-CBN’s response, the NTC shall schedule the case for hearing at the earls time after the Enhanced Community Quarantine is lifted by the Government.”


The opposition of the Solicitor General

Solicitor General Jose Calida earlier filed a quo warrant petition against ABS-CBN. This way, they will have their network’s franchise revoked. On May 3, on the other hand, he ha warned the NTC in granting provisional authority to ABS-CBN. According to him, the organization can’t grant provisional authorities to ABS-CBN Corporation and its affiliate, ABS-CBN Convergence. He pointed out that they need to secure a franchise from Congress first.

Calida also said that NTC commissioners could risk subjecting themselves to prosecution. This under the country’s anti-graft and corruption laws should they issue the “unlawful” provisional authorities to ABS-CBN while not having a franchise. Responding to his “pressure,” Palawan Rep. Franz Alvarez, the franchise committee chair, said that the “Committee on Legislative Franchises will not be dictated upon by any individual or agency as to the manner, schedule, and conduct of its official business.


ABS-CBN releases statement regarding Cease and Desist Order

In a statement on May 5, they noted that millions of Filipinos will lose their source of entertainment once they go off-air. They also pointed out that people need timely and factual information as the whole world battles against coronavirus disease (COVID-19). They, then, assured that they will comply with the cease and desist order effective immediately. Aside from that, they also wrote how House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano said that they won’t be shutting down the network.

“We trust that the government will decide on our franchise with the best interest of the Filipino people in mind, recognizing ABS-CBN’s role and efforts in providing the latest news and information during these challenging times. ABS-CBN [also] remains committed to being in the service of the Filipino and we will find ways to continue providing meaningful service to them.”

Photo from ABS-CBN News

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