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Cong. Rodante Marcoleta lambasted after saying ABS-CBN shut down ‘voluntarily’

Rep. Marcoleta says no one forced ABS-CBN to shut down: The network closed voluntarily

House Deputy Speaker Rodante Marcoleta is being blasted by netizens for saying that ABS-CBN shut down “voluntarily”.

During the second hearing on the media giant’s franchise renewal, Marcoleta claimed that no one forced ABS-CBN to shut down.

The reason ABS-CBN stopped airing was because of the National Telecommunications Commission’s (NTC) cease and desist order (CDO) against it.

The network was expecting to be given provisional authority to operate but never got it and officially shut down on May 5.

Marcoleta added that “ABS-CBN should have challenged NTC’s cease & desist order in court.”

ABS-CBN did file a petition at the Supreme Court for a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) from the NTC.

Kapamilya supporters then criticized the congressman.

The public was shocked upon the issuance of the CDO since NTC commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba was under oath when he promised Congress that ABS-CBN will get the PAs.

“May I assure this committee that barring a gross violation of its franchise of the NTC rules and regulations, NTC will follow the latest advice of the DOJ and let ABS-CBN continue operations based on equity,” said NTC Commissioner Cordoba told lawmakers.

But Solgen Jose Calida said that the NTC will be subjecting themselves to graft charges if they ever do such a thing.

NTC commissioner Edgardo Cabarios added that the network has no reason to be granted the PAs since its franchise has already expired.

Various lawmakers said that the PAs should be granted.

“There is no reason why NTC should not grant a provisional authority for ABS-CBN… That is very explicit that Congress and Senate approve the giving of provisional authority,” said Sen. Zubiri.

“Established precedents in the ruling of NTC on a pending application for renewal of franchise is that if the franchise was filed on time and pending deliberations before the franchise committee the franchise expired, the NTC allows the applicant to operate until the committee on franchise decide with finality,” said Rep. Alfredo Garbin.

Two former chief justices of the Supreme Court have also said that NTC can issue provisional authority to ABS-CBN pending its franchise renewal in Congress.

“Hindi naman kasalanan ng ABS-[CBN]. Nagawa na ang lahat ng dapat gawin, lahat ng requirements nandiyan na. Hindi kasalanan ng ABS-CBN na wala pa silang franchise,” said former CJ Artemio Panganiban.

“In between na pinag-uusapan ng Kongreso kung iga-grant o ide-deny ‘yong franchise ay puwede namang mag-operate ‘yong company kung bibigyan ng Kongreso ng provisional permit.

“‘Yong question ng provisional authority, hindi napakahirap ‘yon eh. Hindi naman kailangan mag-conduct ng maraming public hearing. Public hearing do’n sa main question whether Congress would grant or deny the franchise,” said former CJ Reynato Puno.

Written by Charles Teves

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