“NTC Recalls Frequencies Assigned To ABS-CBN Now Without Franchise”

ABS-CBN

The National Telecommunications Commission ( NTC) has ordered the elimination of television and radio frequencies from the giant ABS-CBN network, though its franchise problem remains unresolved.

In a seven-page order signed by Commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba and Deputy Commissioners Edgardo Cabarios and Delilah Deles, NTC reported that the commission is required to recall the frequencies without a Congressional license to operate it. The frequency recall included all free television and radio broadcasts of ABS-CBN nationally, including the commonly known Channel 2 allocated to the network, AM radio station DZMM, and DWRR-FM, also known as MOR 101.9.

Undoubtedly, Congress’ rejection of Respondent’s franchise renewal offer, combined with the Supreme Court’s rejection of Respondent’s Petition, led to no other conclusion than that Respondent had already lost the privilege of building, running, and retaining radio broadcasting stations in the country, NTC said in an order dated Wednesday.

NTC issued a cease and desist order against the network after ABS-CBN’s franchise expired on May 4, forcing it to avoid broadcasts due to a lack of a franchise. This was despite its assurance before Congress earlier this year that ABS-CBN would still be allowed to operate while the question of the franchise is being discussed.

Last July 10, however, legislators from the House of Representatives Committee on Legislative Franchises, including House officials acting as ex-officio members, voted in favor of a resolution depriving a franchise network. Administration critics speculated that its critical coverage of President Rodrigo Duterte brought about the shutdown of ABS-CBN, but the Chief Executive maintained that he had nothing to do with it.

In view of this, more ABS-CBN businesses and services will cease operations permanently by 31 August, the most recent casualties in the House of Representatives’ denial of the network’s franchise bid.

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