Friday, May 8, 2020

Repost: ABS-CBN Goes to the Supreme Court for TRO on NTC's Closure Order

Image courtesy of www.news.abs-cbn.com


ABS-CBN Corp. asked the Supreme Court on Thursday for a temporary restraining order to stop the implementation of the cease and desist order (CDO) issued by the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC).

“The public needs the services of ABS-CBN now more than ever, as the country grapples with the effects of COVID-19. In this time of public health emergency, ABS-CBN plays a significant role in providing continued employment to thousands of employees and delivering valuable information and entertainment to millions of Filipinos locked down in their homes,” the media network said in its petition.

The 46-page petition for certiorari and prohibition also asked the high court to set aside the CDO and declare a permanent injunction against its implementation.

The media network said the NTC gravely abused its discretion when it issued a CDO instead of deferring to Congress and issuing a provisional authority to allow ABS-CBN and its stations to continue operating.

Congress, it said, has the plenary power to grant and renew legislative franchises.

The petition cited the House Committee on Franchise’s letter dated February 26 directing the NTC to grant ABS-CBN a “provisional authority to operate effective May 4, 2020 until such time that the House of Representatives/Congress has made a decision on its application” as well as the Senate resolution expressing the sense of the body that ABS-CBN and its affiliates “should continue to operate pending final determination of the renewal of its franchise by the 18th Congress.”

It also noted that NTC Commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba himself told the House Franchise committee under oath that the NTC will follow the advice of the Department of Justice and allow the media network to continue their operations based on equity.

ABS-CBN said the issuance of the CDO deviated from past practice and violated its right to equal protection of the law as well its right to due process because it was issued without due notice and hearing.

It enumerated at least 5 companies who were allowed to operate despite the lapse of the franchises for as long as 2 years in the case of 1 company.

The equal protection clause under the Constitution requires substantial distinction between ABS-CBN and the other companies to merit a different treatment.

The CDO, it said, also violates the right of the public to information, curtails freedom of speech, and causes serious and irreparable damage on ABS-CBN and thousands of its employees if its implementation is not halted.

ABS-CBN said it holds between 31 to 44% market share of the Filipino audience which would be deprived of a leading source of news and entertainment.

Around 11,000 employees, meanwhile, stand to lose their jobs should ABS-CBN’s operations cease while the government will lose a significant source of tax revenues, amounting to P14.3 billion from 2016 to 2019.

ABS-CBN also said it raised nearly P237 million for response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The media network also accused NTC of not being impartial, having been warned by Solicitor General Jose Calida 2 days before the issuance of the CDO that they risk subjecting themselves to prosecution for graft if they issue a provisional authority to ABS-CBN.

“The NTC thus issued the CDO with a threat hanging over its head, made no less by the Government’s own lawyer, of prosecution for graft/corruption. Under such climate, the NTC’s impartiality is at best seriously suspect,” it said.

The company's franchise expired on May 4, while bills for its franchise renewal, some filed since 2016, continued to languish in Congress.

27 comments:

  1. Expired franchise, no legislative franchise renewal. AbsCbn has no title or right or authority to be legally protected after May 4, 2020 by TRO. Fact: AbsCbn should have filed that TRO injunction prior to May 4. 2020. Tama ba ako, Attorney?

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    Replies
    1. Mali ka. Pag wala ginawa against them, wala cause of action si ABS. Basahin mo Rule 58 ng Civil Procedure.

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    2. Actually, there is nothing to renew now kasi wala na ang franchise.

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    3. 5:52 Fact: Cdo was inevitable to Abscbn if they wanted to operate after franchise expiration and franchise renewal was not possible under time frame. Pasok na sa banga ang Tro filing on the day franchise was expiring.

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  2. At the end of the day, it's congress' fault for not acting on the franchise renewal bill. Where is the speaker? He seems to be missing.

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    Replies
    1. I think Congress was trying to tackle ABSCBN franchise in April, it just so happened Corona Virus drop by to say Hello Philippines..

      As of now, we are all in quarantine stage. Hindi pa safe bumalik sa trabaho, unless everyone is wearing a mask which is now a mandatory and considered as new normal.

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    2. Nasa nga ba si speaker cayetano??

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    3. 10:58 Naandoon sa Kobe Bryant exhibit niya sa Batasan. Charot.

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    4. 10:58 Nagparamdam na pero naglalaro ng blame game, just like all of them.

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  3. Yes, TRO is not the proper remedy.

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    Replies
    1. No, it is not. But it can make abs continue to broadcast while Congress is working on the renewal.

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    2. What is the proper remedy?

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    3. It should have been filed prior to May 4, not after May 4..

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    4. Magmakaawa sa Kongreso upuan na pagpasa ng franchise renewal bill.

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    5. wrong anon 10.43, the tro was filed againt the cease and desist order which was dated may 5..

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    6. 1:41 and cdo is directed to expired franchise of abscbn. May basehan si ntc. At paso na ang right to operate ni abscbn. Kaya nga abscbn is barking on equity na lang to operate.

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  4. alam naman nilang i-sha-shut down sila kaya nga nakahanda nang farewell message ang CEO nila. Sana naghanda sila nang gagawin sa 11k nilang empleyados, pano ang sweldo at benefits at ni-isa sa mge executives at CEO walang nagsorry sa employees nila.

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  5. TRO sa Cease and Desist eh nag shutdown na kayo in compliance with the CDO.

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  6. The franchise renewal was pending for sometime, ABS waited too long. The TRO should have been submitted prior to the closure! Now, that TRO will not hold water.

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    Replies
    1. anon 5.32. the tro was for CDO issued by NTC. Renewal is on a separate government body.

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  7. Given other operating networks all the viewing public will have to do is transfer network. AbsCbn does not and will not deprive the viewers of news information etc.
    Work on your franchise renewal at Congress. Dont finger point. Congress is at fault influence or otherwise.

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  8. 2:50 os correct. TRO is for status quo.

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    Replies
    1. What is the status quo on May 7 ? Expired franchise

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  9. 12:57 SQA dapat ang finile nila at hindi TRO.

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  10. So it was not closure. Their franchise ended on May 4 and it was not renewed.

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  11. Yung mga nagagalit sa ABS-CBN sana naisip niyo din na BILLION ang tax na binabayad nila sa government. Na kahit paano nakatulong sa pagkatanggap niyo ng ayuda. Kung walang nagbabayad na ganyan kalaki sa tax saan kukuha ang gobyerno ng pang gastos,pag nakaw, at pag tulong kuno sa mga mamamayan ng Pilipinas.

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