House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, Palawan Rep. Franz Alvarez and National Telecommunication Commission (NTC) Commissioner Gamaiel Cordova could face graft charges should ABS-CBN be granted a provisional authority to operate even though its legislative franchise renewal remains pending.
Lawyer Larry Gadon made the warning as he insisted that existing laws require the media giant a legislative franchise to operate and not a provisional authority from the NTC.
“If NTC issues a provisional permit to operate to ABS CBN, I am going to file a graft case against Comm. Gamaliel Cordova, Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and Cong. Franz Alvarez for giving undue benefit and advantage to ABS CBN by way of issuing a provisional permit to operate without a valid congressional franchise,” he said in a statement on Monday (May 4).
Last February, Cayetano and Alvarez, who chairs the House committee on legislative franchises, back in February sent a letter to the NTC which was directed to issue a provisional authority that would allow the media giant to operate.
Because of this, Gadon filed a petition now pending with the SC which questioned the directive issued by Cayetano and Alvarez to the NTC.
“Speaker Cayetano is not the Congress, Cong Alvarez is not the Congress. Their notice to NTC has no force and effect of a law,” Gadon said.
“The other commisisoners who approve and sign the provisional permit without any lawful basis will be included in the graft case,” he added.
Gadon vowed to secure “their removal and perpetual disqualification from holding public office aside from forfeiture of all retirement pay and benefits.”
“My lawyer Atty. Al Vitangcol is now preparing the Complaint and the moment we get hold of a copy of the provisional authority, we will immediately file the case before the Ombudsman within the week,” he noted.