ABS-CBN on Tuesday receives a Cease and Desist order from the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) due to its expired congressional franchise since May 4.
As per NTC, the Act No. 3846 or The Radio Control Law states that “no person, firm, company, association, or corporation shall construct, install, establish, or operate a radio transmitting station, or a radio receiving station used for commercial purposes, or a radio broadcasting station, without having first obtained a franchise therefore from the Congress of the Philippines.”
Shutting down of TV and radio broadcasting operations is expected to be effective starting the night of May 5, 2020.
Hours after the issuance of the Cease and Desist, ABS-CBN releases its official response to NTC’s order:
“Millions of Filipinos will lose their source of news and entertainment when ABS-CBN is ordered to go off-air on TV and radio starting May 5, when people need crucial and timely information as the nation deals with the COVID-19 pandemic.
This is in compliance with the cease and desist order issued by the NTC today that prohibits ABS-CBN from continuing its broadcast operations effective immediately.
Despite Senate Resolution No. 40, the House of Representatives’ committee on legislative franchises’ letter, the guidance of the Department of Justice, and the sworn statement of NTC Commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba, the NTC did not grant ABS-CBN a provisional authority to operate while its franchise renewal remains pending in Congress.
In an interview with DZMM last week, House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano even gave an assurance that there is no move to shut down the network.
ABS-CBN has been providing comprehensive news coverage on the public health crisis and working with local governments and the private sector in providing food and and basic goods for those in need through its “Pantawid ng Pag-Ibig” campaign. To date, it has delivered over P300 million worth of goods for the benefit of over 600,000 families affected by the enhanced community quarantine.
The TV and radio broadcasting company trusts that the government will decide on the status of its franchise with the best interest of the Filipino people in mind, recognizing ABS-CBN’s role and efforts in providing the latest news and information during these challenging times.
ABS-CBN remains committed to being in the service of the Filipino and will find ways to continue providing meaningful service to them.”