MANILA - The National Telecommunications Commission on Thursday recalled the frequencies assigned to ABS-CBN, which it said was “warranted” in the absence of a legislative franchise.
"The denial of respondent's franchise renewal application by Congress, coupled with the denial of respondent's petition by the Supreme Court, lead to no other conclusion except that respondent had already lost the privilege of installing, operating, and maintaining radio broadcasting stations in the country," the NTC said in a decision released to the media Thursday.
"Consequentially, absent a valid legislative franchise, the recall of the frequencies assigned to respondent is warranted," the decision dated Sept. 9 said.
ABS-CBN’s broadcast franchise expired last May 4. Its free TV and radio channels went off the air on May 5 following a cease and desist order from the National Telecommunications Commission.
The network’s bid for a fresh 25-year franchise was denied by the House Committee on Legislative Franchises despite the position of several government agencies that the company has been compliant in various tax, trading and labor laws, among others.
The Supreme Court en banc on Aug. 25 also voted to dismiss the plea of ABS-CBN Corp. to stop the closure order issued by the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) in May.
All provisional authorities, certificates of public convenience granted to ABS-CBN were also "revoked/cancelled," the NTC said.
Fitch Solutions earlier called the shutdown “highly politicized.”
Since the shutdown, thousands of employees have been retrenched and departments wiped out including its regional operations.