Lawmaker seeks House intervention in ABS-CBN petition vs NTC order
MANILA, Philippines — A lawmaker is calling on the House of Representatives to “intervene” in the petition filed by media giant ABS-CBN challenging the cease and desist order issued by the National Telecommunications Commission which stopped the network’s broadcast operations.
Ako Bicol party-list Rep. Alfredo Garbin Jr., a member of the House’s legislative franchises committee, said that the move seeks to “protect the House’s interest and to comply with its constitutional mandate.”
“Thus, in order to protect the House’s interest and to comply with its constitutional mandate, it is best for the House and/or the Committee on Legislative Franchises, to intervene in the ABS-CBN Petition while the committee is deliberating on the Franchise,” Garbin said in a statement.
“Intervention is a legal proceeding by which a third person is permitted by the court to become a party in a pending action after meeting the conditions and requirements set by the Rules of Court,” he added.
On May 7, 2020, ABS-CBN filed a petition asking the Supreme Court to temporarily stop the implementation of the cease and desist order issued by the NTC.
ABS-CBN asked the high court to set aside the NTC’s order and issue a permanent injunction against its implementation, saying that the regulatory body committed grave abuse of discretion when it issued the controversial order to stop broadcasting after its franchise expired.
Garbin, a lawyer, said that the lower chamber or the Committee on Legislative Franchise can “properly intervene” in the petition for three reasons.
- the House has a legal interest in the outcome of the Petition;
- the intervention will not unduly delay or prejudice the right of the original parties to the case;
- the House’s interests in the case may not be fully protected in a separate proceedings
“With respect to the House, the Order (cease and desist order) arrogates into itself the House’s exclusive constitutional power to grant, extend, deny or revoke franchises,” Garbin said.
On May 5, NTC issued a cease and desist order against ABS-CBN directing the network to stop operating its television and radio broadcasting stations nationwide “absent a valid Congressional Franchise required by law.”
ABS-CBN’s franchise expired on May 4, 2020.
House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano has slammed NTC’s move, especially after the commission assured in a hearing in March that it would issue a provisional authority to operate to ABS-CBN while the bills seeking its franchise renewal remain pending before the lower chamber.
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