NTC says OSG’s quo warranto case was factor in CDO vs ABS-CBN
MANILA, Philippines — The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) admitted to senators that the bid of Solicitor General Jose Calida to revoke the franchise of broadcast giant ABS-CBN was a factor in its decision to issue a cease-and-desist order against the network.
During a Senate committee hearing on Wednesday, NTC Commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba said the agency had previously allowed expiring franchises to continue operations while its franchise renewal is pending in Congress.
“We never issued a provisional license to any broadcaster while their franchise was pending in Congress. What happened then was we just allowed them to continue operating,” he noted.
But in the case of ABS-CBN, Cordoba said: “The difference from those instances and on the ABS-CBN issue is that…a case for quo warranto was actually filed by the Office of the Solicitor General.”
In February, Solicitor General Jose Calida sought the revocation of ABS-CBN’s franchise over alleged violations through a quo warranto petition filed before the Supreme Court.
“Kaya po medyo naging (That’s why it would be) untenable on our part to let it continue because of the clear letter of the law in Republic Act 3846,” Cordoba added.
Cordoba was referring to the Radio Control Law which states that “no person, firm, company, association, or corporation shall construct, install, establish, or operate a radio transmitting station, or radio receiving station used for commercial purposes, or a radio broadcasting station, without having first obtained a franchise therefor from the Congress of the Philippines.”
On May 5, the NTC issued a cease-and-desist order against ABS-CBN after its franchise lapsed forcing the network to shut its television and radio broadcast operations nationwide.
This, despite NTC’s earlier assurance that it would grant ABS-CBN a provisional authority to operate as Congress deliberates on the network’s pending franchise renewal.
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