NTC to face graft raps if ABS-CBN gets provisional authority

    The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) warned the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) commissioners that they might face charges under the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act if they issue a provisional authority (PA) to ABS-CBN and its affiliate to operate after its franchise expires today (May 4).

    Citing a decision of the Supreme Court in 2014, Solicitor General Jose Calida said a provisional authority could not be issued to ABS-CBN Corp. and its affiliate ABS Convergence Inc., as this could only be granted to an entity after a Congress franchise has been secured.

    “Hence, a PA should only be issued a congressional franchise has been granted, and an application for CPC is pending before the NTC for approval,” Calida claimed.

    “The NTC cannot issue a PA when the broadcast company has no valid and existing legislative franchise,” he added.

    The congressional franchise of ABS-CBN lapses today and the threat from SolGen came last night (May 3).

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