ABS-CBN’s heart-rending last moments before shutting down

MANILA, Philippines – The National Telecommunications Commission’s (NTC) cease and desist order against ABS-CBN’s free television and radio broadcasts was complied with by the network on Tuesday, March 5.

This is the second time since ABS-CBN went off the air since 1972, when then dictator Ferdinand Marcos seized the network. It was restored to the Lopez when Marcos’ government was toppled after a popular revolt.

The country’s largest television network, which started in 1953, stopped broadcasting at 7:46 p.m. with the lead anchors of the polar Noli De Castro, Bernadette Sembrano and Tel Failon thanking their loyal viewers.

De Castro struck a defiant tone before signing off.

“We will not remain silent on this attack to our democracy,” De Castro said.

Here are some of the network’s last heart-wrenching moments on air:

Several of the network’s officials, including President and CEO Carlo Katigbak and ABS-CBN Corporation Chair Mark Lopez, spoke during a portion of primetime news program TV Patrol.

“We are asking for your continued support so that we may continue our service through our broadcasts,” Katigbak said.

He said ABS-CBN also complied with all requirements of its franchise renewal and broke now laws.

After TV Patrol, ABS-CBN formally signed off.  DZMM’s AM and MOR’s FM radio broadcasts also fell silent, along with their corresponding livestreams online.

NTC released the order after ABS-CBN’s legislative franchise expired on May 4.  Lawmakers were expecting NTC to release a provisional franchise to the network to give the House of Representatives time to discuss issues hounding the media giant.

Earlier, NTC Deputy Commissioner Edgardo Cabarios said that the cease and desist order stemmed from “questions” about its franchise, possibly related to issues brought up by Solicitor General Jose Calida in his quo warranto petition last February.

READ: BREAKING: Solicitor General asks SC to forfeit ABS CBN’s franchise 

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