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If network is not allowed to operate pending franchise renewal

Cayetano says he’s ready to get jailed along with ABS-CBN execs

/ 03:27 PM February 27, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano on Thursday said he is willing to go behind bars if anyone from media giant ABS-CBN will be imprisoned for operating while hearings for its franchise renewal are ongoing in the lower chamber.

The House of Representatives on Thursday sent a letter to the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) enjoining the latter to grant provisional authority to operate to ABS-CBN effective on May 4, 2020, “until such time that the House of Representatives/Congress has made a decision on its application.”

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“Ngayon kung may makukulong sa ABS-CBN dahil nagbo-broadcast sila habang nagh-hearing kami, edi samahan ko sila sa kulungan, ikulong nya na rin ako. Dahil ako nakapirma sa sulat e,” Cayetano told reporters in Taguig City.

Cayetano also said he is expecting the NTC to follow their directive.

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“If we have the power to grant franchise, why wouldn’t we have the power to grant provisional authority? Except that inuutos namin ito sa nag-grant nito. Pwede nga kaming mag-grant ng franchise e, which is the mother of the provisional authority,” the House Speaker said.

Former Chief Justice Reynato Puno earlier said that ABS-CBN can’t continue operating without a new license.

Citing a Supreme Court decision which he penned, Puno said a broadcast network is required to have a franchise and that the NTC could not give provisional permit to a network that does not have a franchise.

But Cayetano cited precedence, saying that other broadcasting firms in the past have been issued provisional authority to operate while their bid for franchise renewal is pending in Congress.

“Ang tingin namin ang pinaka-simple, ang pinaka-straightforward, ang pinaka-unquestionable is ‘yung aming sulat enjoining the NTC to do it. And I call the chairman ng NTC, I’ve read the statement ng DOJ (Department of Justice), so lahat is in alignment e,” Cayetano said.

Edited by EDV

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TAGS: ABS-CBN, ABS-CBN franchise, franchise renewal, National Telecommunications Commission
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