Prominent lawyer explains NTC's decision to shut down ABS-CBN amid COVID-19 crisis

Photo courtesy of GMA network and CNN Philippines

Prominent Lawyer and radio host Trixie Cruz Angeles has again vent out her views on social media over the recent cease and desist order of ABS-CBN issued by the National Telecommunications Commission.

On her Facebook post, Atty. Trixie answered the issue concerning the closure of the Kapamilya network amid the Enhanced Community Quarantine.

There are many intriguing comments and concerns from the netizens questioning NTC's decision to issue the cease and desist order. 

Some say, NTC was being inconsiderate to ABS-CBN and its 11,000 employess, and they should have considered the current crisis situation on COVID-19 pandemic.

Others also believed, that NTC was onl;y threatened by the Solicitor General Jose Calida, that NTC officials will face graft if they will issue a provisional authority to operate to ABS-CBN pending approval from the congress.

So, to make some clarifications on the issue, Atty. Trixie answers the intriguing questions blaming the NTC. Read full post below: 

Para dun sa nagsasabing NTC should have considered the current COVID situation, the answer, is it did.

It issued a rule MO 03-03-2020 allowing for the automatic renewal of permits during quarantine. It says in part:

"All existing permits, certificates and licenses , including radio operator certificates, to operate radio communications equipment, networks and facilities, government or private, in various radio services such as but not limited to fixed and land mobile, amateur, aeronautical, maritime, satellite, special services, issued by the National Telecommunications Commission, expiring within March 15, 2020 to April 14, 2020 or during the Enhanced Community Quarantine Period shall continue to be valid sixty (60) days after the end of the government-imposed quarantine period."

However, this applies only to those with valid franchises. 

The question now is, is the NTC allowed to violate the constitutional requirement of a franchise in view of the COVID situation? NTC says it can't. 

ABS CBN is free to disagree and bring the matter to the Supreme Court.

Now why hasn't it done that yet? They already anticipated this, but relied on the automatic renewal and the backing of congress to get their permit renewed.

Moral of the lesson: Check the powers of Congress. They can assure you of certain action, but if the action is illegal, even they can be stopped.

More important moral of the lesson: Get a franchise early if there is a next time.

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