ABS-CBN Corp. can continue to operate even after its franchise expires on May 4, 2020, the National Telecommunication Commission (NTC) assured the lower chamber on Tuesday.
“The NTC will follow the latest advice of the DoJ (Department of Justice) and let ABS-CBN continue operation based on equity,” NTC Commissioner Gamaliel A. Cordoba said during the hearing of the House committee on legislative franchises.
Asked if the NTC will issue a provisional authority to ABS-CBN, Mr. Cordoba replied: “Most likely, your honor. We will follow the latest opinion of the Secretary of Justice.”
The House committee on legislative franchises adopted the letter written by Palawan Rep. and chair of the committee Franz E. Alvarez and House Speaker Alan Peter S. Cayetano to allow the ABS-CBN Corp. and its affiliate corporations to continue its operations.
“I move that the said letter of our chairman as concurred by the Honorable Speaker, be adopted by this committee as the official position of this committee, and ultimately the position of the House of Representatives. And I further resolve to allow the ABS-CBN Corp. and its affiliate corporations… to continue its operations unhampered beyond May 4, 2020 and/or until the final resolution by the House of Representatives of the bill for the renewal of its franchise,” Occidental Mindoro Rep. Josephine Ramirez-Sato said.
The NTC, upon the advice of the Department of Justice, earlier asked Congress to pass the concurrent resolution mandating it to provide a provisional authority to ABS-CBN.
The NTC argued it was necessary considering the objection the network was facing, which include a quo warranto petition filed by the Office of the Solicitor General.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has not yet decided on the case of the solicitor general against broadcast network ABS-CBN and its unit ABS-CBN Convergence, Inc., and set discussion anew next month.
“I confirm that the deliberations by the court on the ABS CBN Quo Warranto petition is still on going. The case will again be included in the agenda of the court on April 14, 2020,” SC Public Information Chief Brian Keith F. Hosaka told reporters in a mobile-phone message.
“The Justices need more time to further study the case,” he added. — Genshen L.Espedido and Vann Marlo M. Villegas