MANILA — Operation of ABS-CBN’s TV Plus should have halted along with other operations when the network went off the air following the expiration of its legislative franchise last month.
All other operations connected with the network should stop at the end of the day Monday, 29 June 2020.
So said National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) Commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba on Monday’s continuation of the House committee on legislative franchises hearing on ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal.
Cordoba said the broadcast giant is using the franchise of AMCARA Broadcasting Network for its Channel 43 operations.
“All broadcast operations of ABS-CBN are only authorized through its expired franchise…In other words, ABS-CBN’s airing of digital TV on Channel 43 is part of the cease and desist order because the franchise that they used for that is ABS-CBN’s franchise,” he said.
Meanwhile, Rep. Boying Remulla (Cavite 7th District), who sits as Senior Deputy Majority Leader and who earlier asked if ABS-CBN chairman emeritus Gabby Lobez was “100% Filipino or 100% American or 50% Filipino or 50% American,” claimed the broadcast giant’s operation in the past eight (8) weeks was illegal and usufructuary.
Remulla added that allowing ABS-CBN to operate following the expiration of its franchise on May 4 with an expired franchise warranted grounds to file charges against Cordoba.
This was seconded by Sagip Party-list Rep. Rodante Marcoleta who said that “Provisional authority] was predicated on the effectivity of the franchise of the corporation…Cordoba should resign because he is not doing his job!”
Meanwhile, Rep. Mike Defensor (Anakalusugan Party-list) added: “The law is the law and we have to obey that. Today, the continuing use of that frequency should stop.”
It was also gathered that Lopez’s citizenship, along with a litany of other issues, had allegedly been addressed by government agencies—including the labor department, the Bureau of Internal Revenue, and the Securities and Exchange Commission in an earlier hearing at the Senate.
ABS-CBN Corp. CEO Carlo Katigbak countered that the network is willing to submit to the judgment of the regulatory agency even as he appealed for due process and asked the committees to allow them broadcast while the franchise is pending for renewal.
“In the past, the NTC has permitted other companies whose franchises have expired and were currently being deliberated to continue with their operations until such time as either the application is approved or denied. We would like permission to ask for the same privilege to be extended to ABS-CBN in the spirit of fairness,” he said.
“The cease and desist order do not cover Channel 43. It’s not on the list… A block-time arrangement is a standard commercial agreement that is quite common in the broadcast industry. Many other broadcasters do this as well,” Katigbak said.
Previously, Katigbak said the sale of the TV Plus boxes was “in compliance with the directive of NTC to migrate our broadcast to digital.”
According to Philstar report, the cease and desist order shows that Channel 43 is not among the operations the corporation was directed to cease and desist operations on.
It has been over a month now that ABS-CBN and its content remain off the air from its usual channels. (ia/SovereignPH.com)