By Prince Golez
“ABS-CBN is free to exhaust all legal remedies available to it.”
Malacañang had this to say after the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) issued on Tuesday a cease and desist order against the broadcast firm due to the expiration of its congressional franchise.
In a statement sent to reporters, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque stressed that Congress has the exclusive power to grant franchises.
“President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, as a matter of record, accepted the apology of the network and left its fate to both houses of Congress. Let the public be informed that broadcast franchises are within the authority of Congress. It has discretion on what to do with the legislative franchise of ABS-CBN and other broadcasting companies similarly situated,” said Roque.
Meanwhile, the Palace official thanked ABS-CBN for its services to the Filipino nation and people especially in this time of the coronavirus pandemic.
In its order today, the NTC directed ABS-CBN to stop operating its various TV and radio broadcasting stations nationwide “absent a valid congressional franchise as required by law.”
The media company was also given 10 days from receipt of the order “to respond as to why the frequencies assigned to it should not be recalled.”