A day after ABS-CBN President and CEO Carlo Katigbak apologized to President Rodrigo Duterte, former Chief Justice Reynato Puno said the giant network could no longer operate once its existing license expires on March 30, 2020.
In addition to that, Puno emphasized that the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) cannot grant a provisional permit without a license as per the Supreme Court’s rule on TV stations.
Meanwhile, the House of Representatives sent a letter to NTC on February 27, 2020 to provide a provisional authority to ABS-CBN until Congress makes a decision on the application of the network for another 25-year franchise.
House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano expects the NTC to comply with their letter or else, he’s ready to get jailed with ABS-CBN executives as per Puno’s statement.
Cayetano said: “Ngayon kung may makukulong sa ABS-CBN dahil nagbo-broadcast sila habang naghi-hearing kami, e di samahan ko sila sa kulungan, ikulong niya na rin ako. Dahil ako nakapirma sa sulat e.”
Furthermore, Cayetano also emphasized if the House of Representatives/Congress has the power to provide a franchise license, they can also provide a provisional or temporary permit to operate for ABS-CBN.
He continued: “If we have the power to grant franchise, why wouldn’t we have the power to grant provisional authority? Except that inuutos namin ito sa nag-grant nito. Pwede nga kaming mag-grant ng franchise e, which is the mother of the provisional authority.”
Cayetano recalled that there were other TV stations in the past that were able to operate while their bid for the franchise renewal was pending in the Congress due to provisional authority.
“Ang tingin namin ang pinaka-simple, ang pinaka-straightforward, ang pinaka-unquestionable is ‘yung aming sulat enjoining the NTC to do it. And I call the chairman ng NTC, I’ve read the statement ng DOJ, so lahat is in alignment.”
If it wasn’t for Cayetano’s laidback priorities like relaunching a Kobe Bryant exhibit at the House of Representatives last week, he could have the time to initiate the hearing in the Congress for the ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal.