President Duterte won’t interfere on ABS-CBN franchise issue, says Palace

Palace to just wait for NTC’s decision on sought for provisional authority for media giant, as legislative franchise expires by midnight

(File photo) President Rodrigo Roa Duterte updates the nation on the government’s efforts in addressing the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at the Malago Clubhouse in Malacañang on April 27, 2020. KARL NORMAN ALONZO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO


(Eagle News) – President Rodrigo Duterte will not intervene in the issue of the legislative franchise of media giant, ABS-CBN, which is due to expire midnight later, according to Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.

Roque said that Malacanang will just wait for the decision of the National Telecommuncations Commission (NTC) since Solicitor General Jose Calida had already written the NTC regarding ABS-CBN’s franchise.

“This matter should be dealt with by the NTC which is a quasi-judicial body,” the Palace spokesperson said on Monday, May 4, the date when the ABS-CBN’s franchise expires.

Aantayin po natin ang sagot ng National Telecommunications Commission. At ang President naman po ipatutupad po ang desisyon ng National Telecommunications Commission,” he said.

Calida had earlier warned the NTC not to issue any provisional authority to ABS-CBN in the absence of a legislative franchise extending the media giant’s franchise which expires later tonight.

Roque said that although President Duterte had already “forgiven” ABS-CBN for not airing his political advertisements which he had already paid for in the 2016 elections, he cannot tell the NTC what to do in the ABS-CBN case.

Hindi naman po puedeng impluwensyahan ng Presidente ang NTC dahil sa batas, desisyon po ng komisyon yan,” he said.

“Hindi naman po puedeng pangunahan ng presidente ang NTC. Hayaan po nating magdesisyon ang NTC,” he said.

The Senate on March 4 approved a resolution expressing its view that the NTC should grant the ABS CBN provisional authority to operate as Congress tackles the bill seeking to renew its franchise.

But with the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress failed to tackle the various bills seeking to extend the ABS-CBN franchise.

The ABS-CBN’s legislative franchise ends on May 4.

(Eagle News Service)