Blame Congress, not NTC, for ABS-CBN shutdown - SolGen Calida

Blame Congress, not NTC, for ABS-CBN shutdown - SolGen Calida

The ABS-CBN has been off the air since last night, following the conclusion of its primetime newscast TV Patrol it bid its viewers goodbye.

For those supporting the ABS-CBN’s cause of still being in its broadcast operations they blame the Duterte administration specifically Solicitor General Jose Calida and the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) for its immediate shutdown.

Solicitor General Calida in his first public appearance since the tv network’s shutdown said the supporters of the ABS-CBN should blame Congress and not the NTC.

Solicitor General Jose Calida
(photo credit to owner)

“Why to blame NTC when they are only following the law,” the SolGen said.

“Without a valid and subsisting franchise from Congress, the NTC cannot allow any broadcasting entity from operating in the country,” he said as he pointed out that the ABS-CBN franchise has been pending in Congress since 2016.

“The question we should be asking is, why hasn’t Congress acted on it? Who is at fault here,” Calida asked.

Last week the Office of the Solicito Genreal gave a warning to the NTC that their actions in granting provisional authorities (PA) in order for it to operate its broadcasting services to ABS-CBN Corporation and its affiliate, ABS-CBN Convergence, Inc., despite the absence of franchises from Congress.

“The OSG has the duty to advise the NTC of what is legal or not. We will be abdicating our duty to the NTC if we don’t advise them of the legal consequences of their actions,” Calida said.

Calida said NTC merely followed the law.

“The Constitution requires a prior franchise from Congress before a broadcasting entity can operate in this country. Absent a renewal, the franchise expires by operation of law. The franchise ceases to exist and the entity can no longer continue its operations as a public utility,” he said.

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Report from PDI

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