The NTC Has Ordered ABS-CBN to Stop Operations

Their legislative franchise expired on May 4.

(SPOT.ph) The ABS-CBN Corporation has been told to suspend several of its TV and radio stations across the Philippines by the National Telecommunications Commission. A cease and desist order was issued by the regulatory body on May 5, a day after the network's legislative franchise expired on May 4.

Several presumably government-owned frequencies currently under the operation of ABS-CBN were listed down in the official order of the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC). This includes Channel 2, the network's main broadcast frequency. ABS-CBN has been given 10 days to reply to the body explaining why their frequencies "should not be recalled for lack of the necessary Congressional franchise as required by law."

Earlier, it was reported that Solicitor General Jose Calida had cautioned the NTC against issuing a provisionary authority for ABS-CBN to operate even without the proper franchise. The solicitor general issued the statement on May 3, World Press Freedom Day. Several bills to renew the ABS-CBN franchise sits in Congress.

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The House leader of the committee on legislative franchises has spoken against the actions of the solicitor general and the NTC. "We would like to make it clear that Congress takes this matter very seriously, as it directly challenges our exclusive Constitutional authority to grant, deny, extend, revoke or modify broadcast franchises," Representative Franz Alvarez was quoted as saying in an Inquirer.net report.

Main image from Patrick Roque / Wikimedia Commons

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