Guevarra confirms DOJ issued opinion on NTC’s authority to allocate unused, available frequencies

Mike Navallo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 25 2022 11:57 PM

ABS-CBN

MANILA — Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Tuesday night confirmed earlier reports that his department issued an opinion cited by the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) as basis for awarding frequencies, formerly used by ABS-CBN Corp., to the Advanced Media Broadcasting Systems, Inc. of the Villar Group.

Guevarra, however, said the opinion did not mention any particular parties.

“It was a straightforward discussion of legal issues pertaining to the authority of the NTC to allocate unused and available frequencies, and its powers to grant CPCNs (certificate of public convenience and necessity) and provisional authorities. There was no reference to or mention whatsoever of any private parties or private interests, nor was the opinion rendered within a specific factual context,” he said in a Viber message to ABS-CBN News.

A CPCN is an authority granted by the NTC to an applicant with a valid congressional franchise before it can install, operate and maintain public telecommunications facilities and services in the country.

NTC conducts public hearings before a CPCN is issued.

In the meantime, the NTC can issue a provisional authority while the hearings for the issuance of a CPCN is ongoing.

ABS-CBN News has yet to obtain a copy of the DOJ’s legal opinion, which Guevarra said should have been posted on the DOJ website late last year.

A quick survey however of the list of more than 50 opinions either rendered or declined by the DOJ for 2021 on its website would not show any mention of the NTC’s authority to grant unused and available frequencies to another entity.

Guevarra also confirmed that it was the NTC that sought the DOJ’s legal opinion on the matter.

“Yes, the NTC formally requested the DOJ’s legal opinion, and we simply studied and answered the legal queries posed in the request,” he said. 

news.abs-cbn.com is the official news website of ABS-CBN Corp.

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