Wed. Jan 19th, 2022

MANILA – Malacañang on Thursday said it respects the broadcast firm ABS-CBN Corporation’s appeal to the Supreme Court (SC) to stop the implementation of National Telecommunications Commission’s (NTC) cease and desist order that prompted the media network to stop its television and radio broadcasts.

In a text message sent to Palace reporters, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the Palace would leave ABS-CBN’s fate to the SC.

“That’s their right. Let’s await decision of the Court,” Roque said, reacting to ABS-CBN’s request to SC to issue a temporary restraining order against NTC’s cease and desist order.

The NTC on Tuesday ordered ABS-CBN to halt its broadcast operations nationwide following the expiration of the media network’s franchise on Monday.

ABS-CBN asked the SC on Thursday to nullify and set aside the NTC’s order, claiming that the commission “gravely abused its discretion” when it issued a cease and desist order, according to a report by the embattled broadcast company.

It also alleged that NTC’s latest move “violates the right of the public to information and curtail freedom of speech, as well as cause serious and irreparable damage on ABS-CBN and thousands of its employees if its implementation is not halted”.

ABS-CBN’s television and radio stations nationwide went off air on Tuesday following the NTC’s order.

Around 11 bills granting a fresh 24-year franchise to ABS-CBN remain pending in Congress.

Critics have claimed that a specter of martial law looms following the ABS-CBN’s closure.

In a virtual presser aired on state-run PTV-4 on Thursday, Roque dismissed that the shutdown of ABS-CBN is a prelude to martial law.

Roque also assured Wednesday that there is no reason for Duterte to veto the ratified bill on ABS-CBN’s franchise once it reaches the President’s table. (ia/PNA)

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