“Upon the expiration of Republic Act (RA) No. 7966, ABS-CBN no longer has a valid and subsisting congressional franchise as required by RA No. 3846,” the NTC said, citing the Radio Control Law. Meanwhile, Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said that President Duterte does not have a hand in NTC’s decision not to grant ABS-CBN a provisional authority as he said that the Chief Executive has already forgiven the network. In an order issued on Tuesday afternoon, the NTC said the network must stop its television and radio broadcasting stations nationwide immediately “absent a valid Congressional Franchise required by law.” “May legal remedies naman,” he added. “While it is immediately executory may mga legal processes na once it is filled baka hindi i-implement ‘yung order, pero dipende kung mayroong TRO they can still operate.” MANILA – The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) has ordered the Alto Broadcasting System-Chronicle Broadcasting Network (ABS-CBN) to “cease and desist” from broadcasting following the expiration of its 25-year franchise on Monday. “ABS-CBN is free to exhaust all legal remedies available to it,” Roque said in a statement last night. “President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, as a matter of record, accepted the apology of the network and left its fate to both houses of Congress.” Calida has filed a quo warranto petition before the Supreme Court as he accused the network and its subsidiary ABS-CBN Convergence of various abuses, including illegal pay-per-view offering and foreign ownership. “The NTC Regional Offices shall implement the closure order in their respective areas of jurisdiction. After receipt of ABS-CBN’s response, the NTC shall schedule the case for hearing at the earliest time after the Enhanced Community Quarantine is lifted by the Government,” the NTC added. Solicitor General Jose Calida then threatened that the NTC could be held liable if it allows ABS-CBN to operate even if its 25-year franchise has already expired on Monday./PN In compliance with NTC’s cease and desist order, the ABS-CBN said in a statement that it will shut down its operations effective last night as they resort to legal remedies such as securing a temporary restraining order (TRO). The NTC added the broadcasting network was given 10 days from the receipt of the Cease and Desist Order to respond as to why the frequencies assigned to it should be recalled. “The NTC requested our opinion and the DOJ gave them advice in accordance with law and equity,” Guevarra said in a statement. “The NTC must have a very good reason for doing so. Let’s wait for their opinion.” “Before you can operate the radio broadcast station dapat ay mayroong kang valid congressional franchise, so nag-expire na siya wala ng basehan,” Cabarios said in an interview with DZBB. DOJ secretary Menardo Guevarra, meanwhile, said that NTC must have a “very good reason” to issue the order even if his office and Congress have the same view in granting ABS-CBN a provisional authority to operate. A “quo warranto” is a legal procedure that is filed against someone who “usurps, intrudes into, or unlawfully holds or exercises a public office, position or franchise,” according to Rule 66 of the Rules of Civil Procedure. NTC Deputy Commissioner Edgardo Cabarios, meanwhile, said that ABS-CBN has legal remedies to appeal the decision but has insisted that the cease and desist order must be immediately executory. “Millions of Filipinos will lose their source of news and entertainment when ABS-CBN is ordered to go off-air on TV and radio (last night) when people need crucial and timely information as the nation deals with the COVID-19 pandemic,” the network said. RA No. 3846, or the Radio Control Law which states that “no person, firm, company, association, or corporation shall construct, install, establish, or operate a radio transmitting station, or radio receiving station used for commercial purposes, or a radio broadcasting station, without having first obtained a franchise therefor from the Congress of the Philippines.” Prior to NTC’s issuance of cease and desist order, they have sought comment from the Department of Justice (DOJ) on whether to grant a provisional franchise to ABS-CBN with its franchise renewal bill still pending at the Congress. President Rodrigo Duterte had repeatedly threatened to shut down ABS-CBN, which he accused of estafa or fraud for failing to air some of his paid political advertisements during the 2016 national elections but he has said that he has forgiven the network. “This is in compliance with the cease and desist order issued by the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) today that prohibits ABS-CBN from continuing its broadcast operations effective immediately,” it added. Candles are being lit in front of the ABS-CBN Broadcast Center Building after the NTC ordered the immediate shutdown of the network after its franchise expired on May 4. CNN PH “Let the public be informed that broadcast franchises are within the authority of Congress. It has discretion on what to do with the legislative franchise of ABS-CBN and other broadcasting companies similarly situated,” he added. “We thank the network for its services to the Filipino nation & people especially in this time of COVID19. But in the absence of a legislative franchise, as we have earlier said, ABS-CBN’s continued operation is entirely with the NTC’s decision,” he further said.