Wed. Aug 4th, 2021

By the SovereignPH.com Staff

MANILA – It’s official. There won’t be no temporary restraining order (TRO) for the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC)-issued cease and desist order (CDO) against ABS-CBN.

This, after the Supreme Court on Tuesday failed to issue the TRO earnestly sought by the giant network that could have reversed the CDO the NTC earlier issued.

Voting unanimously during an en banc hearing, the SC instead released the following orders:

1. The Court separately impleaded the Senate and the House of Representative as a party to the case and required them to comment on the Petition within a non-extendible period of 10 calendar days from receipt of notice.

2. The Court required Respondent NTC to file a comment on the petition of ABS CBN Corporation within a non-extendible period of 10 calendar days from receipt of notice.

3. The Respondent NTC was also required to file a reply within a non-extendible period of 5 calendar days from personal notice of the said comments of the Senate and House of Representatives.

4. The Court denied the motion to consolidate the Petition with the case entitled Lorenzo G. Gadon vs. Hon. Alan Peter Cayetano, et al., G.R. No. 251932.

“The aforementioned actions were unanimously approved by the 14 Justices of the Supreme Court,” SC Public Information Office chief Brian Keith Hosaka said.

The NTC issued the CDO against ABS-CBN last May 5. 2020 following the expiration of the latter’s franchise a day before or on 4 May 2020.

The giant network however, immediate filed a motion with the Supreme Court.

And on its seven-page urgent motion, ABS-CBN claimed that “aside from its 11,000 regular employees, the NTC closure order endangered the livelihood of its talents, security guards, canteen helpers, drivers, content creators, utility workers, and all those employed associated with its operations.”

It also said the advertising industry is at risk because advertising firms spend less on advertising where they cannot reach their targeted audience.

ABS-CBN added that they are among the “country’s top taxpayers having paid P70.5 billion in taxes between 2003 and 2020, and “without the significant revenue stream the television network provides, the government would be hard-pressed to find funds for its projects.”

The network followed up its urgent motion with a 46-page petition for certiorari and prohibition last May 7 on which ABS-CBN questioned before the SC the legality of the cease-and-desist order issued by the NTC.

The network claimed the “NTC gravely abused its discretion when it issued the order, instead of the deferring to Congress where bills for the renewal of its legislative franchise have been filed since 2016.”

Accordingly, the NTC also violated the equal protection clause of the Constitution as it allowed in the past similarly situated broadcasting companies to continue to operate by issuing provisional authority.

ABS-CBN further stressed the NTC’s cease-and-desist order violated ABS-CBN’s right to due process for it was issued in haste without hearings. (iamigo/SovereignPH.com)

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