MANILA – The Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) on Wednesday raised concerns that shutting down ABS-CBN would leave a vacuum in the media industry.
Speaking to ANC, KBP president Ruperto Nicdao Jr. said ABS-CBN was one of the biggest, if not the biggest, network servicing the entire Philippines and Filipinos throughout the world.
“It’s a big vacuum for the media industry. Even among advertisers, they always want to have a robust media industry because more choices is always good for anything,” he said.
Despite the halt order issued by the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) against the network, the national association of broadcasters of the Philippines remains optimistic that ABS-CBN will obtain a fresh legislative franchise.
“Good always comes out in the end. We’re still optimistic that our leaders will decide for the greater good and the greater good is to grant the petition for renewal,” Nicdao added.
The KBP also maintained that NTC’s order, which caught the association by surprise, came at a worst possible time while the country grappled with the COVID-19 pandemic.
It also urged lawmakers to expedite deliberation on ABS-CBN’s franchise bills that have languished at the House of Representatives since 2016.
Solicitor General Jose Calida earlier filed a petition at the high court to invalidate franchises of ABS-CBN Corp. and ABS-CBN Convergence citing alleged abuses, including supposed violations of restrictions on foreign ownership.
The Lopez-led network, which reaches millions of Filipinos through its television, radio and online platforms, said it had not broken the law in its 65-year service.
“We did not violate the law. This case appears to be an attempt to deprive Filipinos of the services of ABS-CBN,” the company had said in a statement.
ABS-CBN and its subsidiaries have more than 11,000 employees.
In response to NTC’s order, ABS-CBN went off the air Tuesday night, the second since it was forced to shut down in the Marcos-led martial law.
"Millions of Filipinos will lose their source of news and entertainment when ABS-CBN is ordered to go off-air on TV and radio tonight (5 May 2020) when people need crucial and timely information as the nation deals with the COVID-19 pandemic," ABS-CBN Corp. said in a statement.
"This is in compliance with the cease and desist order issued by the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) today that prohibits ABS-CBN from continuing its broadcast operations effective immediately," it said.
News.abs-cbn.com is the official news website of ABS-CBN Corp.