PRESIDENTIAL Communications Secretary Martin Andanar decried any claims and assertions associating President Rodrigo Duterte with the National Telecommunications Commission’s independent and impartial decision to impose a cease and desist order against ABS-CBN Corporation.
He said, such claims are bereft of truth and just a rehash of an old malicious imputation to bedevil the President and his administration.
Andanar asserted the country’s legislative processes and rules of law should be considered before connecting any precedents as being orchestrated by the President.
Andanar reminded that President Duterte has accepted the apology of the giant network and this thereby undermines any assumption that the President was behind NTC’s decision.
“ABS-CBN’s shutdown was brought about by the expiration of its 25-year legislative franchise last 4 May 2020. The mandate of a broadcast franchise issuance and renewal is within the authority of the Congress, and not solely of the President, who only signs the law to be executory. It is within the purview of the Constitution that NTC, as a regulatory body, disallows the continued operation of any broadcast network with an expired franchise,” according to Andanar’s statement.
On his statement, he made it clear that NTC is bounded by law to decide on and execute any policies and programs that are in accordance with what the Constitutions dictate.
He added that the decision regarding the legislative franchise of ABS-CBN falls within the purview and wisdom of Congress and ABS-CBN has the right to pursue any and exhaust all legal remedies it deems necessary to resolve the matter.
“It is, therefore, totally unfair and objectionable for some parties and some international media to insist that what happened to the network is due to “having incurred the ire” of the President. This assertion is remarkably erroneous, lacks objectivity, and scant on a factual basis. Simply, a false narrative,” decried Andanar.
“This is not an issue of press freedom but an issue regarding legislative franchise,” he added.