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To comply with NTC’s cease and desist order, ABS-CBN, DZMM, other stations will go off air for now

This includes 42 TV stations, 10 digital broadcast channels, 18 FM stations, and 5 AM stations.

The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) has ordered ABS-CBN to stop broadcasting on both television and radio after its 25-year franchise expired today May 5, 2020.

NTC’s Cease-and-Desist Order stated that the giant network should stop operating due to the absence of a valid Congressional Franchise as required by the law. This includes 42 TV stations, 10 digital broadcast channels, 18 FM stations, and 5 AM stations.

NTC also stated that they will schedule a case for hearing as soon as the enhanced community quarantine is lifted by the Government.

“Upon the expiration of RA 7966, ABS-CBN no longer has a valid and subsisting congressional franchise as required by Act No. 3846. The NTC Regional Offices shall implement the closure order in their respective areas of jurisdiction. After receipt of ABS-CBN’s responses, the NTC shall schedule the case for hearing at the earliest time after the enhanced community quarantine is lifted by the Government.”

The agency permits ABS-CBN to respond within 10 days upon receiving the order, in regards to why the frequencies assigned to it should not be recalled.

NTC still issued a Cease-and-Desist order against ABS-CBN despite lawmakers indicating that they are in favor of ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal including Senator Migz Zubiri, House of Representative’s Congressman Rep. Tonypet Albano and Rep. Alfredo Garbin.

Even the Department of Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra also reiterated that ABS-CBN can still operate while its franchise renewal is still pending in the Congress.

Guevarra stated: “The DOJ stands by its position that there is sufficient equitable basis to allow broadcast entities to continue operating while the bills for the RENEWAL of their franchise remain pending with Congress.”

Furthermore, Batangas Rep. Vilma Santos-Recto has high hopes that NTC order could be undone, especially thousands of Filipinos will lose their jobs.

She said: “This is definitely not a good news. Especially at this time na maraming walang trabaho. I’m definitely saddened by this development. I still hope that the NTC will reconsider its decision and allow ABS-CBN to operate. I’m hopeful that our President will reverse the order of the NTC.”

The decision of NTC to issue a cease-and-desist order to ABS-CBN came after Solicitor General Jose Calida warned NTC officials that they may face graft charges if they permit ABS-CBN to continue operating.

Calida said: “When there is no 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. Risk subjecting themselves to prosecution under the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.”

Cease-and-Desist order of the agency is contrary to what they have stated that all the ongoing permits that will expire during the enhanced community quarantine period will be automatically be renewed.

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ABS-CBN complies with NTC’s cease and desist order