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House to NTC: Explain ABS-CBN closure order

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PHILSTAR

THE House legislative franchises committee ordered the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to explain why it should not be held in contempt for issuing a cease-and-desist order against ABS-CBN Corp。

“You are ordered to explain within seventy-two (72) hours from receipt of this Order why you should not be cited in contempt or preceded against for issuing an Order to ABS-CBN Corporation to immediately cease and desist from operating its radio and television stations,” said Palawan Rep. and House legislative franchises committee chair Franz E. Alvarez in his letter.

Mr。 Alvarez said that the NTC did not uphold its assurance to the House of Representatives that it would let ABS-CBN continue its operations “until such time that Congress has made a decision on its application。”

“The act of NTC constitutes undue interference on and disobedience to the exercise of power of the House of Representatives, and therefore, an affront to its dignity and an inexcusable disrespect of its authority,” it said.

While the letter is dated May 5, 2020, the Office of House Speaker Alan Peter S. Cayetano told reporters via Viber that the letter was e-mailed to the NTC on Monday afternoon. The NTC acknowledged the receipt of the letter on the same day.

Specifically, the NTC officials included in the said show-cause order are Commissioner Gamaliel A. Cordoba, Deputy Commissioner Edgardo V. Cabarios, Deputy Commissioner Delilah F. Deles and Head of NTC Legal Branch Ella Blanca B. Lopez.

“Your failure to comply with this Order within the period prescribed will result in a finding against you for contempt of the House of Representatives and subject you to other actions that are within the powers of the House of Representatives to enforce,” the order said.

ABS-CBN went off air on May 5 after receiving a cease-and-desist order from the NTC on the same day.

Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus B. Rodriguez filed a House Joint Resolution 30 that seeks to grant a provisional franchise to ABS-CBN to be able to operate until June 30, 2022.

Since ABS-CBN’s previous franchise expired on May 4, Mr。 Rodriguez also filed House Bill No。 6694 to grant the media giant a new franchise for 25 years。

Meanwhile, House of Representatives Minority Leader Bienvenido M。 Abante, Jr。 filed House Bill 6701 seeking the abolition of the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) for its alleged “defiance” to Congress over the franchise of ABS-CBN。

There are 11 pending House bills on ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal, but none have hurdled the committee level。

SENATE ASKS NTC TO RECONSIDER
Also on Monday, the Senate on adopted the resolution asking the NTC to reconsider the cease-and-desist order issued against ABS-CBN.

With 12 affirmative votes, zero negative and nine abstention, the chamber adopted Senate Resolution No. 395, in line with its position that a provisional authority may be granted to the media network.

Among those who abstained were Senators Vicente C。 Sotto III, Cynthia A。 Villar, Imee R。 Marcos, Ronald M。 dela Rosa, Christopher Lawrence T。 Go, Panfilo M。 Lacson, Ramon B。 Revilla, Jr。, Francis N。 Tolentino, and Pia S。 Cayetano, who also withdrew from being one of the authors。

“If we are discussing the franchise of ABS-CBN, I will vote in favor of the franchise but we are tackling a resolution that is countering the prerogative of the Executive Department that they’ve already made, and I am inclined to abstain from the vote,” Mr. Sotto said ahead of the voting, Monday.

Meanwhile, 13 Senators on Monday filed Senate Bill No. 1521, granting the network a provisional authority to continue operations while its franchise awaits Congress approval.

北京赛车pk10投注The bill extending the franchise of ABS-CBN and unit ABS-CBN Convergence, Inc. for another 25 years is pending at the committee level.

“The non-renewal of ABS-CBN franchise will result in the loss of thousands of jobs as the network has over 11017 employees, including its artists, independent contractors, suppliers, and content creators who are spread out in ABS-CBN’s information and entertainment group of companies,” the Senators said in the explanatory note.

They also cited the network as among the country’s largest taxpayers, contributing P70.5 billion between 2003 and 2020.

Moreover, the Senators cited the need for a reliable source of information as the country deals with the crisis brought by the coronavirus disease. — Genshen L. Espedido and Charmaine A. Tadalan









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