Philippines' largest television network shut down by government
Wednesday, May 6, 2020
Following the expiry of broadcast corporation Philippine government issued a cease and desist order dated yesterday, forcing the shut-down of broadcasting operations by the company. Later in the evening, the network signed off and went off-air. The last time the Philippine government ordered the network to shut down was during the martial law imposed by former Philippine President back in 1972.'s legislative franchise, the
Republic Act No. 3846, also known as the "Radio Control Law", states "no person, firm, company, association, or corporation shall construct, install, establish, or operate a radio transmitting station, or radio receiving station used for commercial purposes, or a radio broadcasting station, without having first obtained a franchise therefor from the Congress of the Philippines." Since ABS-CBN's legislative franchise, Republic Act No. 7966, expired on Monday, the network no longer had a valid franchise to continue airing their programs. The(NTC) issued a cease and desist order to the network yesterday, and in compliance, the network signed off that night.
The network tried to renew their franchise as early as July 2019, but all eleven of the legislative bills filed have been stuck in. The franchise of ABS-CBN expired on Monday, the same day Congress reconvened after their Break, which began on March 13. Though the NTC is allowed to provide the network a provisional license while its application to the Congress is still being decided upon, the commission refused to provide the network with said license. A number of condemned the act of the NTC, citing the move as a "grave abuse of governmental power" and "contrary to law".
ABS-CBN Corporation is the largest television and radio broadcasting company in the Philippines with over 42 television stations, 10 digital channels, and 18 FM and five AM radio stations, and has been broadcasting for over 65 years. Philippine Presidentthreatened the network's franchise renewal before, after the network didn't carry some of his campaign commercials, which they've said was due to a lack of airtime, and he accused the network of "swindling". Solicitor General Jose Calida filed a petition on February 10, accusing the network of violating its franchise. After a Senate hearing was conducted on February 24, the Senate did not find the network had breached laws, nor its franchise terms. ABS-CBN CEO said refunds for Duterte's unaired political ads were offered, of which some were not accepted by his campaign. Katigbak apologized to Duterte during the hearing, which the President accepted according to a statement by the Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.
The network's news channel, ABS-CBN News Channel, is still on air, as the network claims the cease and desist order did not cover their news channel's franchise.
- Miguel R. Camus, Patricia Denise M. Chiu. "ABS-CBN vows comeback after being shut down by government" — , May 6, 2020
- Kristine Joy Patag. "ABS-CBN's Channel 2 went off air but other operations can still be accessed" — , May 6, 2020
- Neil Arwin Mercado. "BREAKING: NTC orders ABS-CBN to stop broadcast operations" — , May 5, 2020
- Ted Cordero. "'HANGGANG SA MULI, KAPAMILYA': ABS-CBN complies with NTC order, goes off the air on Tuesday night" — , May 5, 2020
- Aika Rey. "'Grave abuse of power,' senators condemn NTC flip-flop on ABS-CBN" — , May 5, 2020
- Thomson Reuters. "Philippine telecoms body orders TV broadcaster that irked Duterte to shut" — , May 5, 2020
- Eimor Santos. "ABS-CBN to donate Duterte refund for unaired ads" — , February 27, 2020
- Aika Rey, JC Gotinga. "Senate hearing on ABS-CBN: No breach of laws, franchise terms" — , February 25, 2020
- Lian Buan. "Void ABS-CBN franchise, Calida asks Supreme Court" — , February 10, 2020
- Michelle Abad. "TIMELINE: Duterte against ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal" — , January 17, 2020
- Pia Ranada. "Duterte to file multiple estafa charges vs ABS-CBN" — , May 19, 2017