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Hontiveros backs ABS-CBN provisional permit, slams Calida for ‘misplaced priorities’

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The Office of the Solicitor General should rethink its priorities amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Senator Risa Hontiveros took a swipe at Solicitor General Jose Calida after he warned the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) against giving ABS-CBN network a provisional permit while waiting for Congress to renew its franchise.

“The OSG has misplaced priorities, and should just focus its energies on supporting government efforts amid the pandemic,” Hontiveros tweeted.

Calida said the NTC may face graft complaints if they issue a provisional authority to ABS-CBN. He said such provisional permit can only be issued once a congressional franchise is granted.

Hontiveros however rallied behind the embattled media giant amid attempts of the OSG to block its franchise renewal. The license of the network is set to expire on May 4.

She said the NTC can allow ABS-CBN to continue operating while Congress deliberates on the franchise renewal.

“I stand with my colleagues in the Senate and the House of Representatives that nothing should prevent the National Telecommunications Commission from issuing a provisional authority to ABS-CBN and its subsidiaries while the renewal of its franchise is pending in Congress,” she said.

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