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Court to hear ABS-CBN return-to-air plea on July

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PHILSTAR

THE Supreme Court is set to deliberate on July 13 the petition of ABS-CBN Corp. seeking to stop the implementation of the order by the National Telecommunications Commission which directed the media company to go off-air on May 5.

“That will be deliberated on July 13 because we waited for the comments of the House of Representatives, the lower House and upper House and I think we only received the comments last Monday or last Friday pero the member in charge asked for July 13 for deliberation,” Chief Justice Diosdado M. Peralta said in a virtual press briefing.

The deliberation date is more than two months since the filing of ABS-CBN’s petition for a temporary restraining order against NTC’s cease-and-desist order on May 7.

The network went off air on May 5 after the issuance of the order following the expiration of its legislative franchise on May 4.

ABS-CBN said in its petition that its halt of operations will affect the livelihood of its more than 11,000 employees and the government will also lose revenues as it has paid P70.5 billion taxes from 2003 and 2020.

The network also noted that it would lose up to P35 million daily when it is off-air.

In its comment, the telecommunications regulator maintained that it did not commit grave abuse of discretion when it issued the cease and desist order.

The NTC also held that it did not violate ABS-CBN’s right to due process and equal protection clause.

The Supreme Court early this month dismissed for lack of legal standing the petition of lawyer Lorenzo G. Gadon in March to stop the House of Representatives from asking the NTC to issue a provisional authority to the network once its franchise expired.

The House of Representatives issued the letter to NTC, asking it to issue a provisional authority to ABS-CBN. The telecommunications regulator instead issued the cease-and-desist order.

ABS-CBN’s franchise is being heard by the House of Representatives. — Vann Marlo M. Villegas





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