Despite claims of ‘financial hemorrhage,’ NTC tells SC there’s no reason to stop ABS-CBN shutdown order
MANILA, Philippines – The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) on Tuesday has asked the Supreme Court to dismiss the petition filed by ABS-CBN against the shutdown order issued the first week of May.
In its 98-page comment submitted Tuesday, NTC, through the Office of the Solicitor-General (OSG) said the cease and desist order (CDO) was issued in compliance with the Constitution and existing laws.
“The Cease and Desist Order was issued against the petitioner in compliance with the Constitution, applicable laws, 2006 National Telecommunications Commission Rules of Practice and Procedure, and existing jurisprudence, and on account of the lapse of the petitioner’s franchise,” the NTC said.
It pointed out that the CDO has already served its purpose and there is no more to enjoin.
“Indeed, when the events sought to be prevented by injunction or prohibition had already happened, nothing more could be enjoined or prohibited. An injunction will not issue to restrain the performance of an act already done,” NTC added.
Besides, the OSG said ABS-CBN failed to show any evidence that there is an urgency that would justify a stop in the implementation of the CDO.
ABS-CBN, in its urgent motion, said it is suffering from “financial hemorrhage” losing P30-P35-million daily in advertising.
It noted that unless a restraining order is issued, it may soon be forced to let go of some of its 11,000 employees.
But NTC pointed out that despite claims of damage, ABS-CBN did not suffer any injury. What will be affected by the shutdown order are the employees and the public who now has less option in choosing what to watch on television or listen to over the radio.
“Generally speaking, the petitioner must assert its own legal rights and interests of others…ABS-CBN cannot ask the Court for injunctive relief on the basis of the damage allegedly caused by third parties,” it added.
NTC added that ABS-CBN’s actions militate against its allegation of urgency.
“It was the petitioners that withdrew its application for the renewal of its franchise in 2014. Such lack of prudence and foresight of the management of the petitioner cannot be ignored in the determination of whether the petitioner is entitled to a TRO,” it added.
The NTC also asked the SC not to make the House of Representatives and Senate as parties to the case.
“The Court is not a forum to appeal political and policy choices made by the Executive, Legislative and other constitutional agencies and organs. This Honorable Court dilutes its role in a democracy if it asked to substitute its political wisdom for the wisdom of accountable and representative bodies where there is no unmistakable democratic deficit. For this reason, as equally done by the NTC, this Honorable Court must shun away from passing any judgment on the non-renewal by Congress of ABS-CBN’s franchise and the consequent stoppage of its broadcasting operations,” NTC said.
As of Tuesday, Philippines posted 14,669 cases of coronavirus disease. Of which, 3,412 have recovered while 886 died due to the respiratory ailment.
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