Arta rejects Newsnet’s franchise appeal
MANILA, Philippines — The Anti-Red Tape Authority (Arta) has rejected the appeal of the News and Entertainment Network (Newsnet) to reverse its earlier ruling setting aside the firm’s declaration of completeness and order of automatic approval.
In its resolution dated August 22, Arta said there is no “cogent reason” for reversing its June 17 ruling, stating that the declaration of completeness and order of automatic approval dated February 12, 2022, for Newsnet is “hereby set aside.”
Arta explained that the Department of Justice resolution upon which it had based its reversal judgment was “already become final and executory.”
Arta stressed that it did not have the authority to issue a completeness declaration. Therefore, it cannot compel the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to issue a certificate of public convenience, which includes the use of frequencies.
“Hence it resolves the matter herein as well with finality, and any similar motions or manifestations, in this case, will no longer be entertained,” the Arta resolution read.
That was the response of Arta to the motion of reconsideration filed by Newsnet last July 4.
The NTC earlier opposed the motion, even asking the Court of Appeals (CA) to reconsider its decision to comply with Arta’s ruling on Newsnet’s application to operate interactive pay television and multimedia services in the country.
It said that Newsnet’s legislative franchise to operate has already expired, disqualifying it from any frequency assignment and allocation.
NTC added that the finality of judgments could not apply to ARTA, an investigatory body without jurisdiction to adjudicate the rights and obligations of parties.
On August 12, the NTC issued a cease and desist order demanding that Newsnet return all temporarily assigned frequencies.
While Newsnet also submitted a Court of Appeals (CA) decision granting Newsnet’s Petition for Mandamus dated July 20 2022 directing the NTC to comply with the ARTA’s February 12 2020 Declaration of Completeness and Order of Automatic Approval in favor of Newsnet, NTC argued that the CA decision is not immediately executory because NTC properly availed of its remedies within the reglementary period.
Arta said it would continue to abide by the DOJ resolution in its resolution.
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