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ABS-CBN shutdown a ‘shame’ for NTC, Congress, Locsin says

/ 06:33 PM May 06, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr. on Wednesday berated the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) and the House of Representatives over the shutdown of television giant ABS-CBN.

In a tweet, the outspoken top diplomat said closing down a major media outlet that has provided news, entertainment, and comfort for millions of Filipinos here and abroad is a “shame” for the NTC and Congress.

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He also dropped the F-word later in his tweet to blast the NTC.

ABS-CBN went off the air on Tuesday evening in compliance with the cease and desist order of the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) pending congressional approval of its franchise renewal.

Locsin, a former Makati congressman, said that the House of Representatives “sunk lower than imaginable” due to its failure to act on ABS-CBN’s franchise extension bid, noting that renewing a media franchise should be a “first priority in democracy” for Congress.

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NTC issued the order after ABS-CBN’s legislative franchise expired on May 4.

Lawmakers were expecting the NTC to release a provisional franchise to the network as they were unable to act on various bills seeking to extend the media giant’s legislative franchise.

President Duterte has publicly threatened to block the franchise renewal of ABS-CBN.

Late last year, Duterte even vowed that he would see to it that ABS-CBN will be “out.”

A month before ABS-CBN’s franchise expired, Solicitor General Jose Calida filed a quo warranto petition before the Supreme Court to revoke the legislative franchises of ABS-CBN Corp. and its subsidiary ABS-CBN Convergence Inc., citing what it described as “highly abusive practices” of the network.

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TAGS: ABS-CBN, Congress, COVID-19, Media, NTC, press freedom, Teodoro Locsin
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