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Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte

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NTC asks ABS-CBN to stop operations 

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The National Telecommunications Commission ordered ABS-CBN Corp. to stop operating its TV and radio stations nationwide following the expiration of its legislative franchise on May 4.

In an order dated May 05, 2020, the NTC directed ABS-CBN to stop operating in various television and radio broadcasting stations nationwide, absent a valid congressional franchise which lapsed on May 4, 2020.

"Upon the expiration of RA 7966, ABS-CBN no longer has a valid and subsisting congressional franchise as required by Act No. 3846," it said in a statement.

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The NTC, which earlier said it would grant a provisional authority (PA) to allow ABS-CBN to continue operations, has given the company 10 days from receipt of the order to respond.

The latest development came days after the Office of the Solicitor General warned NTC commissioners that they could face Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act charges should they issue ABS-CBN Corp. and its affiliate ABS Convergence Inc. a provisional authority (PA) to operate after its franchise lapses on May 4, 2020.

The House of Representatives Committee on Legislative Franchises -- through a letter from House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and panel chair Franz Alvarez dated February 26, 2020 -- formally requested the NTC to grant ABS-CBN a PA to be able to operate beyond May 4.

NTC has sole authority -Palace

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque on Monday said the continued operation of broadcasting company ABS-CBN would solely depend on the decision of the NTC.

Roque made the comment amid the statement of Solicitor General Jose Calida threatening NTC over the weekend that its officials will face graft charges if it will allow ABS-CBN to operate on an expired franchise.

ABS-CBN’s franchise expired on Monday, May 4.

“Ang Solicitor General ay alter ego ng ating Presidente, at sumulat nga siya sa NTC. This must be dealt with by the NTC as a quasi-judicial body,” Roque said.

“Aantayin po natin ang sagot ng NTC. Ang desisyon po ng NTC ang ipapatupad ng Presidente. Hindi puwedeng impluwensiyahan ng Presidente ang NTC,” Roque added.


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