Abusado na, ignorante pa! Drilon: NTC commissioners 'should be fired for incompetence' for ordering ABS-CBN shut down

Photo courtesy of UNTV

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said Thursday, expressed disappointment on National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) Top officials and should be “fired for incompetence”. 

Drilon said NTC commissioners gravely abused its power when it ordered the ABS-CBN to go off air despite its previous assurance to lawmakers that will grant provisionary athority to operate pending the renewal of its franchise in the congress.

In a statement last May 7, Drilon said NTC Commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba and Deputy Commissioners Delilah Deles and Edgardo Cabarios created damage to the country by ordering ABS-CBN’s closure since it is a major source of information and entertainment for Filipinos.

Also a former justice secretary, Drilon said NTC’s decision to shut down ABS-CBN caused “damage to society by depriving people of a major source of information on the pandemic and causing the loss of jobs of 11,000 workers of ABS-CBN.”

“The commissioners also displayed gross and inexcusable ignorance of the law when they disregarded precedents and the opinion of the DOJ (Department of Justice),” Drilon said.

“The Commissioners should be fired for incompetence,” he added.

“After they reneged on their commitment to Congress, there is a total loss of confidence in their ability to discharge their duties according to law,” Drilon continued.

The DOJ announced last February that NTC can grant ABS-CBN provisional authority with Congress’ approval.

The NTC also released a memorandum in March that all franchises that will expire during the enhanced community quarantine due to the COVID-19 pandemic are "automatically extended" up to 60 days after the lockdown is lifted. 

Despite these, NTC still issued a cease and desist order to ABS-CBN and shut down its operations. 

But days before the cease and desist order, the NTC allegedly received a letter from Solicitor General Jose Calida telling them to issue a cease and desist order and threatening possible graft charges if a provisional authority is issued to the network. 

ABS-CBN has filed an appeal to the Supreme Court to issue a restraining order to NTC’s closure order so it can resume operations.

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