'Double standard': Angara decries cease-and-desist order vs ABS-CBN's TV Plus channels, SKY Direct

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 30 2020 07:53 PM | Updated as of Jun 30 2020 07:59 PM

Sen. Sonny Angara sponsors the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act in the Senate on June 3, 2020. Albert Calvelo, Senate PRIB

MANILA - Sen. Sonny Angara on Tuesday decried the issuance of cease and desist orders against 2 ABS-CBN subsidiaries where the Philippines' largest broadcasting company has been airing programs amid the shutdown of its free TV and radio channels. 

"Grabe double standard dito -- yung iba pinayagan mag-operate habang dinisiyunan ang prangkisa, ito tigok kaagad. 'Di man lang inisip mga tao doon," Angara said in a tweet.

(This is a severe case of double standard-- others were allowed to operate while the franchise was being deliberated, this one was readily killed. They didn't even think of the people there.)

ABS-CBN's broadcast franchise expired on May 4, while its license renewal bid is still pending in the House of Representatives. It was ordered to halt broadcast on its free TV and radio channels on May 5. 

Previously, media networks were allowed to continue operations despite the lapse of their broadcast franchise pending their application for license renewal before Congress.

"It's painful to watch the government be the cause of so much suffering and hardship for thousands of ordinary, working Filipinos," Angara said, referring to the network's employees who had to stop working after the shutdown in May.

Under a new National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) order, ABS-CBN has to stop operating its digital TV transmission in Metro Manila using Channel 43 (644-650 mhz), which would affect programs shown on its TVPlus channels Cine MO!, Yey!, TeleRadyo, Asianovela, Jeepney TV, and its pay-per-view channel KBO. 

In a separate cease and desist order, the NTC ordered ABS-CBN's cable company, Sky Cable Corp., to "immediately" stop its SKY direct-to-home satellite transmission, which would affect households with SKY Direct satellite dishes. 

The NTC served the closure order to the broadcast giant a day after several lawmakers threatened to sue the NTC chief before the Office of the Ombudsman.