The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) sympathizes with ABS-CBN Corp. but it is adamant it has no option but to shut it down when its franchise lapsed on May 4.
NTC Deputy Commissioner Edgardo Cabarios said fans of the country’s leading media company need not despair because ABS-CBN shows could be seen on its website, its own app, Facebook and Youtube.
“While we sympathize with ABS-CBN, we have to comply with the law. Klarong-klaro. There are ways for the content of ABS-CBN can be aired, there are so many platforms available,” said Cabarios in an interview with DZMM.
NTC Commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba had previously declared that NTC would issue a provisional authority to ABS-CBN based on the recommendation of Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra.
But the NTC apparently had a change of heart after Solicitor General Jose Calida threatened to file corruption charges against NTC officials if they allowed ABS-CBN to operate without a valid franchise.
Cabarios admitted that had Calida not raised the issue on ABS-CBN’s expired franchise, NTC would have not issued the cease and desist order. ABS-CBN management announced it would sign off on May 5.
“Eto po ay resulta ng pagaaral, wala ng ibang option, ‘yung franchise ay nagexpire, wala na bisa lahat ng authority na-grant sa ABS-CBN. We cannot issue an authority, provisional or certificate, without a valid congressional franchise,” said Cabarios.
“The resolution of Congress (for ABS-CBN to continue oprating while applying for a franchise renewal) is not a law, that is our conclusion. That is the finding of the legal team, ‘yun talaga ang conclusion, ‘di talaga pwede,” he added.