MANILA – The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday took up in its en banc session the petition filed by broadcast network ABS-CBN against the cease and desist order issued by the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC).
In a statement sent to reporters, SC spokesperson Brian Keith Hosaka said the court separately impleaded the Senate and the House of Representatives as party to the case and required them to comment on the petition within a non-extendible period of 10 days from receipt of notice.
The High Court also required NTC to file a comment on the petition within a non-extendible period of 10 days from receipt of notice.
It also directed the commission to file a reply within a non-extendible period of five days from personal notice of the comments of the Senate and the House.
The SC, meanwhile, denied the motion to consolidate the petition with the case titled “Lorenzo G. Gadon vs. Hon. Alan Peter Cayetano, et al., GR No. 251932”.
“The aforementioned actions were unanimously approved by the 14 Justices of the Supreme Court,” Hosaka said.
Meanwhile, Solicitor General Jose C. Calida welcomed the initiative in Congress in beginning the process of tackling whether or not a legislative franchise would be granted to ABS-CBN.
“This move is consistent with the position of the Solicitor General that a franchise is required to operate radio and television stations in the Philippines. Congress has the exclusive and plenary power to grant that franchise, which must be specifically in the form of a statute,” Calida said.
In a letter dated April 30, he advised the NTC that a provisional authority cannot be issued in the absence of a law.
Calida added that he “agrees with Speaker (Alan) Cayetano that ABS-CBN’s alleged violations must be investigated.” (IA/PNA)