The controversial franchise renewal of media giant ABS-CBN surfaced again as the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) ordered the network to cease operations since its congressional franchise expired on Monday, May 4.
On May 5, NTC issued a cease and desist order against ABS-CBN and directed the network to stop its broadcast operations nationwide.
The order likewise gave the network 10 days from the receipt of order to respond and explain as to why the frequencies assigned to it should not be revoked.
Following this issue, Kapamilya artists aired their reactions and sentiments on social media.
On Twitter, Kapamilya artist Ria Atayde stressed about ‘unnecessary politicking’,
“Jaida Essence Hall got it right. Unnecessary politicking,” she said along with a graphic interchange format (GIF).
Jaida Essence Hall got it right. Unnecessary politicking. pic.twitter.com/SsM5oQVPCY
— Ria Atayde (@RiaAtayde) May 5, 2020
Former volleyball player and TV host Gretchen Ho condemned NTC’s move and called it “unacceptable” and “inhumane.”
On Twitter, the multi-awarded host wrote, “Politicking during a pandemic is TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE and INHUMANE.”
Politicking during a pandemic is TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE and INHUMANE.
— Gretchen Ho (@gretchenho) May 5, 2020
Award-winning actress Angel Locsin also aired her sentiments. “Para sa kapwa. Sa panahon na kailangan ng hanap buhay ng mga tao.
“Let’s be considerate and ask ourselves kung makakatulong ba ang mga desisyon natin sa lalo na sa panahong ito,” she continued.
Para sa kapwa.
Sa panahon na kailangan ng hanap buhay ng mga tao. Let’s be considerate and ask ourselves kung makakatulong ba ang mga desisyon natin sa lalo na sa panahong ito.
— Angel Locsin (@143redangel) May 5, 2020
Prominent journalist and broadcaster Karen Davila took a swipe against the government’s decision to halt ABS-CBN’s operations when the country is in the middle of a life-threatening crisis due to the pandemic COVID-19 disease.
Expressing her disbelief and disappointment, the 49-year-old journalist posted on her Twitter account: “Sa dami ng problema ng Pilipinas… sa dami ng nagkakasakit at namamatay sa Covid… sa laki ng problema ngayon sa ekonomiya..sa dami ng nawalan ng trabaho dahil sa covid.. Talagang pagpapatigil ng ABSCBN ang inatupag nila.”
She added: “Hindi ko maintindihan kung nasaan ang mga puso nito.”
Sa dami ng problema ng Pilipinas… sa dami ng nagkakasakit at namamatay sa Covid… sa laki ng problema ngayon sa ekonomiya..sa dami ng nawalan ng trabaho dahil sa covid..
Talagang pagpapatigil ng ABSCBN ang inatupag nila. Hindi ko maintindihan kung nasaan ang mga puso nito.
— Karen Davila (@iamkarendavila) May 5, 2020
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said that the order is “immediately executory” but the network can still file a petition to the court which is subject to judicial review.
“The cease-and-desist order is immediately executory (subject to judicial review). But it’s up to ABS-CBN if it will comply,” he said.
“The NTC will have to enforce it if ABS-CBN will not voluntarily comply,” he added.
It can be recalled that Solicitor General Jose Calida last February filed a quo warranto petition before the Supreme court seeking to stop ABS-CBN’s request for a franchise renewal,
There are eleven bills filed seeking to renew the franchise operations of the Lopez-owned media company that are still pending in Congress. Because of this, ABS-CBN was able to operate until May 4.
On Tuesday, May 5, the media network officially signed-off at 7:52 pm, following the airing of its primetime newscast TV Patrol.
On Twitter, the #NoToABSCBNShutDown trended again with over 688 thousand tweets as of this writing.
The rest of the hashtags included in the top ten trending topics in the country are related to the ABS-CBN shutdown.