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When abs cbn shutdown?

5 Answer(s) Available
Answer # 1 #

On May 5, 2020 ABS-CBN signed off the air after airing its primetime news program, TV Patrol. ABS-CBN, the country’s largest broadcast media, was ordered to cease its operations by the National Telecommunications Commission under threat of prosecution by the Solicitor General, Jose Calida. Ironically, the order came just two days after the world commemorated World Press Freedom Day. That the closure order came while the country was under quarantine restrictions and focused exclusively on the pandemic was met by criticism not only from a broad section civil society but even from members of Congress. As of this writing however, the grant of even a temporary franchise remains doubtful.

Those who lived during the martial law years would know that this is not the first time the giant network suffered such fate. After 48 years, it is like déjà vu all over again. At that time though, all forms of free media were closed upon the declaration of martial law. Except that ABS-CBN had been at the receiving end of government regulators since the Lopez family established the network since the 1960s. As history would show, ABS-CBN, and the Lopez family, had weathered many storms, only to survive and face another one.

To understand the significance of the event, it is necessary to historicize and contextualize within the broader framework of pre-martial law politics and the relationship between the Lopez family and Ferdinand Marcos that started from amity and ended in enmity. The 1972 ABS-CBN shutdown, after all, was a sideshow to the larger events taking place around it.

Originally, the Lopez family amassed their wealth from large landholdings in Negros Island planted with sugar. The so-called sugar barons, because of their immense wealth, became a strong lobby group within the corridors of power and greatly influenced both domestic and foreign economic policies. Capturing elective positions, therefore, became a natural consequence of this economic power, at the local level first and then at the national level. The Lopez family’s fourth generation, led by the brothers Eugenio and Fernando, epitomized this so-called `one-two punch’ enterprise – while Eugenio took care of the business side of the family’s business, Fernando entered national politics to corner contracts and business opportunities as well as to protect the enterprise from unwanted threats and challenges.

Likewise, the brothers diversified their business to avoid the vicissitudes of the sugar industry – fluctuating prices in the world market and occasional labor problems. This strategy, later to be adopted by other landlords, would eventually produce what is perhaps the country’s first conglomerate. However, their investments into the transportation industry yielded results that were quite ruinous for the family. The first of these ventures was Panay Autobus. By the late 1930s, the family invested in an industry that was both pioneering and promising – aviation. Starting out as an aerial taxi company like Philippine Airlines, the Iloilo-Negros Aerial Taxi Company (INAEC) was created firstly to transport sugar barons to and from Manila. Later on, the company expanded into scheduled services between Manila and other major urban centers. Eventually, INAEC metamorphosed into a full-fledged airline, the Far East Air Transport Inc. (FEATI), providing links to Asian cities such as Hong Kong and Shanghai. The Pacific War, however, ended this enterprise abruptly when its planes were destroyed by Japanese forces. FEATI was resurrected right after the war, with an even bigger fleet than Philippine Air Lines’ and an airfield (Grace Park in Caloocan) exclusively for its operations. But a series of crashes attracted attention that led to a congressional investigation focusing on their safety record. Had the Roxas administration been friendly to the Lopezes, the company would have earned a reprieve. But because they were on the wrong side of the political fence by supporting the losing candidate (Osmena) in the 1946 presidential elections, the full might of the government’s regulatory powers was brought to bear. So that in the end, the Lopez family was pressured to sell FEATI’s assets to PAL, whose owner, Don Andres Soriano, was a Roxas supporter. This event may have instilled the irrefutable value of proximity with the chief executive.

By the late 50s and early 60s, the Lopez brothers were able to make a rebound, thanks in large part to their friendly relations with President Garcia. In 1957, Eugenio Lopez bought Alto Broadcasting System (ABS) from Antonio Quirino and merged with Chronicle Broadcasting Network (CBN) they had brought earlier. The big break tough came in 1961 with their purchase of MERALCO, an American power firm.  But because Diosdado Macapagal won an upset electoral victory over Garcia a few months later, the fate of both companies would be imperiled again by the rough and tumble world of Philippine politics.

For the next few years, the Lopez conglomerate faced charges of franchise violations and even suspensions that the 1969 presidential elections proved an attractive option as a way out.  The family was faced with a dilemma – whether to ask Fernando to run for the presidency or to ally with a popular politician who was more likely to win the next election. They chose the latter, a decision that would eventually lead to their downfall.

With Fernando running as vice to Marcos, Eugenio gave full support to the Nacionalista party standard-bearer. The first six years of the Marcos-Lopez partnership, from 1965 to 1971, may be characterized as cordial. From then on, however, things came to a head. Lopez attacked Marcos and Imelda in media while the president countered by attacking Lopez and their ilk as “oligarchs.” It did not help that Eugenio threw a lavish party on the occasion of he and his wife’s fortieth wedding anniversary, so opulent and ostentatious that it did not escape notice of both Marcos and activists. In the end, however, it was Marcos who sued for peace by paying Eugenio a visit at his MERALCO headquarters, patching up the feud temporarily for Marcos would come with a vengeance for the next round (McCoy 1994, 508).

In the early morning of September 23, 1972, then Lt. Rolando Abadilla went to the Broadcast Center along Bohol Ave. in Quezon City to take over ABS-CBN. Earlier, the Lopez-owned Manila Chronicle, like all broadsheets, were padlocked. Like a fallen prey, two cronies immediately devoured the downed media giant. Kokoy Romualdez, Imelda’s favorite brother, took over the facilities of Manila Chronicle and came up with his own paper, The Daily Express. Sugar king Roberto S. Benedicto took many of the television station’s equipment and came up with his own channel – Kanlaon Broadcasting Company (Channel 9). When a fire destroyed the KBS center the following year, they moved to the Broadcast Center and took over the entire building and all its equipment, known to ABS-CBN employees as Looter’s Day. Benedicto likewise used ABS-CBN’s channel (Channel 2) to form a new TV station – Banahaw Broadcasting Corporation (or BBC). Never was the Lopez family compensated for the takeover. To the contrary, in October 1979 the Lopez family was ordered to pay the government millions of pesos for tax arrears and fines. (McCoy 1994, 509).

The prize jewel though in the Lopez empire was MERALCO. Because it was a publicly-listed company with hundreds of shareholders, a different approach was hatched. Eugenio Jr. (Geny) was arrested on the pretext that he was involved in a plan to assassinate the president. Marcos used this as bait for Eugenio to sign a document relinquishing control of the power firm. In exile in San Francisco and close to death, Eugenio signed but with a condition, for the regime to release Geny so he could see his son for the last time.  Marcos did not keep his part of the bargain and thus refused the dying man’s wish. Undeterred, the Lopez family successfully executed an escape plan the following year for Geny and his co-accused, Sergio Osmena III (Serge), from their detention in Fort Bonifacio. Both ended up seeking asylum in the US where they became active in the anti-Marcos campaign.

In the aftermath of the 1986 People Power Revolt, an opportunity came for Geny to regain their properties. As part of the democratic government’s program of recovering sequestering ill-gotten wealth from Marcos and his cronies, the government sequestered corporations including ABS-CBN, Manila Chronicle, and Meralco.  As can be expected, he found a sympathetic president in Cory Aquino for both suffered terribly under the Marcos regime. As many martial law activists became part of the government or ran for elective office in Congress and Senate, Geny found a sympathetic power base by which to wrest control of ABS-CBN, including the Manila Chronicle and MERALCO.  Like Lazarus, ABS-CBN came back from the grave, resurrected once again after fourteen years.  After only a few years in operation, ABS-CBN reached the top of the charts and regained their premarital law standing.

Patron-client relations and rent-seeking perspectives offer convincing explanatory power when looking at the Lopez family’s fortunes until the advent of martial law. One may even argue that this relationship with the state persisted after 1986. ABS-CBN lent its support to the hastily-assembled Ramos presidential run in 1992 and assigned one of its top executives, Rod Reyes, to handle the media campaign. The gesture paid off when Reyes was appointed Press Secretary during the Ramos administration. And when media became critical of Estrada’s errant governance, media outfits became the new targets of the populist president. The Gokongwei-owned Manila Times was summoned to court for a libel case and threatened with closure, a grim scenario that forced management to sell the paper to Estrada crony Dante Ang. The Philippine Daily Inquirer almost suffered the same fate when the irate president asked his friends in business to withdraw their advertisements in the country’s number one newspaper. Interestingly, ABS-CBN enjoyed being on the opposite side of the fence because one of the Lopez scions married a presidential daughter. The same may be said in the following administration when one of its most visible broadcasters became Vice President. Perhaps it is not wrong to say that the same cordial relations existed during yet another Aquino presidency. But then, like boom and bust cycles, the Lopez family may be in for rough times. Even when the charismatic Gina Lopez became Environment Secretary in Duterte’s Cabinet, her advocacy to ban mining operations did not sit well with many of the president’s supporters. Furthermore, the Lopez family’s interests in power generation only made this advocacy more untenable. In spite of her wide popularity among a cross section of society, Duterte caved into the powerful mining lobby to take her out of the Cabinet.

How do we then make sense of this second shutdown? Current discourses on the current president had centered on populism as well as on its rabid manifestations – Dutertismo. Shifting the discourse back on the nature of the Philippine state may be more useful at this point. A departure from this discourse is a recent article which framed Duterte as the leader who had the gumption to take on the powerful oligarchs who, historically, have plundered state coffers to their advantage. In so doing, the article suggests, Duterte did what his predecessors could not, that is to stand up to mighty oligarchic class under the Philippine state had been powerless to control (Heydarian 2020). But while Duterte may have stood up against oligarchs in the past, the pandemic had shown his vacillating position towards them.

And here, Evans and Skocpol’s work, and its catchy title, may give us a lead on where to train our sights. At the time when Bringing the State Back In was published, many of the scholarship on development focused on non-state actors – among them social movements, radical politics, and democratization. At the same time, the so-called East Asian miracle economies gained attention in academic circles, focusing on the role of the state in economic development. More importantly, succeeding scholars who toiled in this genre provided us a typology of states (strong/weak, developmental/patrimonial, etc.) and comparative studies to differentiate and illustrate outcomes.

Simply put, predatory regimes are both extractive and coercive, both qualities that complement each other. As democratization scholar Larry Diamond (1998, 17) explains further:

In its original formulation, predatory states however referred not to the Philippines but to elite government bureaucrats preying on business such as what may be found in Indonesia. The Philippine problematic however has produced variations. For example, Hutchcroft (2000) would remind us of the phenomenon of patrimonial oligarchy or a more direct term, predatory oligarchy:

In another exposition, Quimpo (2010) avers that what we have is a predatory regime. As differentiated from a clientelist regime, Quimpo describes predatory regimes as:

Thus, while Hutchcroft puts forward the thesis on oligarchic plunder, Quimpo enriches this concept with the proposition that such plunder could be made more efficient and far-reaching under an authoritarian president.

Looking back, the takeover of the Lopez empire was but the prominent example of this setup. The Jacinto family suffered the same fate as a consequence of their support for Sergio Osmena, Jr. in the 1969 presidential election. The government took over Jacinto’s steelmaking companies, including the biggest, Iligan Integrated Steel Mills, on the pretext that it was unable to repay its foreign debts. The owner, however, revealed that the government reneged on the loan arrangement and that Marcos demanded a two-thirds share in the company. A similar fate awaited the owner of Volkswagen Philippines. Having complied with all government regulations in the nascent car industry, the government tilted the rules in favor of the Silverios, owner of Delta Motors, Toyota’s sole agent in the country, and supplier to the Armed Forces, driving the company to close shop (Rivera 1994, 84-5). Herminio Disini benefitted from the same tactic when the government slapped a 100% tax on cigarette filters to all tobacco manufacturers. However, the government later issued Disini a 90% exemption, making him the sole supplier of the commodity. In the end, it was only by employing the full coercive powers of the state and dismantling opposition such as courts and free media was Marcos able to destroy the old oligarchy. But this did not translate to a state insulated from predation and capable of instituting reforms. In its stead, a new crop of more vicious oligarchs (cronies) came to the fore – Roberto Benedicto, Danding Cojuangco, Herminio Disini, Lucio Tan, Rodolfo Cuenco and many others.

This trend continues as we look at the regime’s favorite businessman, Davao-based businessman Dennis Uy. Benefitting from the state’s allocation of resources to its allies as well as denial to opponents or rivals, Dennis Uy has expanded his business enterprise exponentially. Since 2016, Uy had ventured into a host of business enterprises such as oil, water, and power utilities, shipping, real estate, food retail, gambling, and telecommunications totaling 36 companies overall (Rivas 2019). From 11 companies in 2016, Uy had amassed 19 companies after only three years into the Duterte presidency. Aimed at breaking the `oligarchic’ duopoly of Smart and Globe, he was awarded the third telecommunications franchise even when he had no experience in the industry and had to partner with Chinese experts to rationalize the award. Furthermore, Uy’s access to local banking capital enabled him to gobble up industries notwithstanding his company’s audit record. Indeed, access to state resources is key private accumulation. As to whether loan guarantees were extended to Uy or a bailout in case of a default will only add to the burgeoning woes and frustration to the public already battered by the pandemic.

As the country slowly emerges from quarantine restrictions, media can now shift its attention to news items that were previously drowned out by the pandemic, among them overpriced procurement transactions entered into by government officials. The state of emergency has been an excuse to stifle human rights and to enter into shady deals without the restrictions of oversight procedures. Thus, it is not surprising if some LGUs insist on restrictive quarantine measures even if health records show otherwise. By shutting down ABS-CBN, the government had sent a strong signal to other media outfits of what fate may befall them if they fail to tow the line.

gkeyyi Daud
Answer # 2 #

ABS-CBN (an initialism of its two predecessors' names, Alto Broadcasting System and Chronicle Broadcasting Network) is a Philippine commercial broadcast network that serves as the flagship property of the ABS-CBN Corporation, a company under Lopez Holdings Corporation owned by the López family. The network is headquartered at the ELJ Communications Center and ABS-CBN Broadcasting Center in Quezon City, with additional offices and production facilities in 25 major cities including Baguio, Naga, Bacolod, Iloilo, Cebu, Davao, and Bulacan, where ABS-CBN's production and post-production facility in Horizon IT Park is located. ABS-CBN is colloquially referred to as the Kapamilya Network; its brand was originally introduced in 1999 and was officially introduced in 2003 during the celebration of its 50th anniversary, and was used until its May 5, 2020, shutdown when the network was renamed Kapamilya Forever in support for the network's franchise renewal on May 13, 2020. ABS-CBN is the largest media company in the country and oldest television broadcaster in Southeast Asia.

ABS-CBN is the first television network in Southeast Asia to broadcast in color, and one of the oldest commercial television broadcasters in Asia. It has also been the leading television network in the Philippines with advertising revenues of 21.2 billion pesos for the 2015 fiscal year. Throughout 2020, ABS-CBN suffered legal challenges which resulted in the loss of the network's broadcast franchise and the ability to broadcast on terrestrial television and radio.

Since the shutdown, the network has rebranded itself as a mass content company and produced television programs, films and other entertainment content through partnerships with independent production companies and broadcasters, including A2Z, TV5, GMA Network and All TV. The network's social media accounts are mainly managed by ABS-CBN Digital Media, which have an estimated less than 100 million followers across multiple social media websites. The network's entertainment YouTube channel is the most-subscribed and most-viewed channel in Southeast Asia, with over 36.7 million subscribers and over 44.1 billion views, ahead of Thailand's WorkpointTV.

Bolinao Electronics Corporation (BEC) was founded on June 13, 1946. It was established by James Lindenberg, one of the founding fathers of Philippine television and an American electronics engineer who went into radio equipment assembly and radio broadcasting. At the time, the largest media company was the Manila Broadcasting Company, with DZRH as the leading radio station. In 1949, James Lindenberg shifted Bolinao to radio broadcasting with DZBC and planned the introduction of television to the Philippines in 1953.

In 1951, Lindenberg partnered with Antonio Quirino, brother of then-Philippine president Elpidio Quirino, to try television broadcasting. In 1952, BEC was renamed Alto Broadcasting System or ABS (with Alto Sales Corporation as its corporate name). Alto was a contraction of Quirino's and his wife's first names, Tony and Aleli. Despite little money and resources, ABS was able to put up its TV tower by July 1953 and imported around 300 television sets. The initial test broadcasts began in September of the same year. The very first full-blown broadcast was on October 23, 1953, at a party in Quirino's home. The first program to air was a garden party at the Quirino residence in Sitio Alto, San Juan. After the premiere telecast, the station followed a daily four-hour schedule from 6:00 to 10:00 PM.

ABS-CBN's first television broadcast was on October 23, 1953, as Alto Broadcasting System (ABS) on DZAQ-TV, three months after the first broadcast of Japan's NHK General TV and Nippon Television. It is the first television network in Southeast Asia to broadcast in color, the first television network in the Philippines to formally launch a digital terrestrial television service, and the first broadcast television network in the Philippines to formally launch in HD.

The flagship television station of ABS-CBN was DWWX-TV (ABS-CBN TV-2 Manila). As such, the network was informally referred to as "Channel 2" or "dos" (Spanish for two) even if the network was seen in other channel numbers elsewhere in the country. The network operated across the Philippine archipelago through the ABS-CBN Regional division which controlled 80 television stations. Its programs are also available outside the Philippines through the global subscription television channel The Filipino Channel (TFC). From 2011 to 2020, the network had been on test broadcast for digital terrestrial television using the Japanese standard ISDB-T in select areas in the Philippines. On October 3, 2015, ABS-CBN started to broadcast in high-definition quality through its affiliate direct-to-home cable and satellite television providers.

The ABS-CBN logo features three main elements: the vertical line rooted in a horizontal origin, the three extending circles, and the text ABS-CBN.

ABS-CBN's logo also has a horizontal version, usually used to save space as the main vertical logo usually takes up more space. The design of the horizontal version of the logo contains the ABS-CBN text, split into two parts, "ABS" and "CBN", without the dash connecting them, and ABS-CBN's iconic symbol squeezed in between them.

The first logo to have a horizontal version going by this design was the logo launched in 1986. From 1986 up until 2014, the elements of the horizontal logo, text, and symbol were evenly sized. In the 2014 version of the horizontal logo was slightly larger than the Alto Broadcasting System (ABS) and Chronicle Broadcasting Network (CBN) names.

ABS-CBN Regional (formerly ABS-CBN Regional Network Group) served as the regional network division of ABS-CBN. It was responsible for simultaneously airing most of the shows seen on ABS-CBN's flagship station in the provinces, with all stations (including Cebu, Bacolod and Davao) reopening in 1988 after suspension due to martial law enacted in September 1972. Manila's flagship station reopened after the People Power Revolution in September 1986. ABS-CBN Regional had several stations in each region outside Mega Manila to ensure nationwide coverage.

The local stations also produced their own newscasts which air prior to TV Patrol and another local programming which air on Sundays. The launch of the local game show Kapamilya Winner Ka! (now renamed as Kapamilya, Mas Winner Ka!) in the Visayas and Mindanao, Bagong Morning Kapamilya in North Luzon (Baguio and Dagupan), the 17th local TV Patrol in Southern Tagalog (Region IV-A), and the 18th local TV Patrol in Palawan (IV-B; the network had an affiliate station) provided more relevance to regional audiences.

On April 15, 2011, Regional launched Choose Philippines, a new website promoting tourism in the Philippines by sharing photos and stories of the most extravagant places, culture and arts.

ABS-CBN Regional ceased its operations on August 28, 2020, after almost 32 years following the denial of its legislative franchise on July 10.

In 1992, AGB Nielsen Philippines was founded. In 2007, TNS Philippines started to offer media research through Kantar Media Philippines (formerly Kantar/TNS). In 2008, AGB Nielsen Philippines released the list of all-time highest rating shows in the Philippines, with 7 of the top 10 highest rating shows all from ABS-CBN with the shows like The Battle: Pacquiao vs. Morales, Rosalinda, Esperanza, Meteor Garden, Pangako Sa 'Yo, Miss Universe 1994, and Maria Mercedes.

Throughout the years, ABS-CBN has been involved in several controversies and scandals involving its talents, employees, and programs.

On July 22, 2004, during the arrival of Angelo de la Cruz (a truck driver who was held hostage and threatened with beheading in Iraq abducted by armed rebels west of Baghdad while trucking fuel from Saudi Arabia) at Ninoy Aquino International Airport, live breaking news coverage was aired on GMA Network and other television stations in the Philippines. GMA Network used audio-video coverage from Reuters, which the network was subscribed to. During the broadcast, a live feed from Reuters was simultaneously aired with its own live broadcast. During the first five seconds of the live feed, GMA Network noticed that the live feed from Reuters was also airing from its main competitor ABS-CBN. The live video was restricted only to ABS-CBN and Reuters did not inform GMA Network that the video coverage was only intended for ABS-CBN. The local Court of Appeals declined the case filed by ABS-CBN Corporation against GMA Network Inc. for allegations of illegal duplication of its live video footage. In a ruling, the local fourth division of the appellate court set aside the resolution of the local Justice Department, which approved the filing of the violation of Republic Act 8293 (or the Intellectual Property Code) against GMA Network. It ruled out that the act of GMA Network airing the live video coverage was focused on good faith since there was no intent to instigate damage to ABS-CBN. The local court also said GMA Network acted in good faith when it immediately stopped using the live video feed from Reuters upon learning ABS-CBN was also covering the event and its following exertion to authenticate the ABS-CBN Corporation restriction arrangement with the news service, Reuters. The court also stressed that apart from the lack of intent of GMA Network to affect the video from ABS-CBN, the action did not contravene Sections 212.4 and 185.1 of Republic Act 8293 since it was a short excerpt.

Two major incidents involving ABS-CBN have involved the network's variety show Wowowee. The first incident was a demand for tickets to a one-year anniversary episode of the show at the PhilSports Arena in 2006 caused a deadly stampede killing 76 people. Over a year later in August 2007, the show became entrenched in another scandal involving the possibility of a new game on the show being rigged as evident by a "mechanical glitch" which occurred during an episode, which grew greater after Eat Bulaga! host Joey de Leon and Wowowee host Willie Revillame started exchanging attacks on-air against each other during their respective and competing shows. The incident later led to a probe by the Department of Trade and Industry led by senator Mar Roxas (which was jokingly suggested by Joey during a speech he made on Eat Bulaga! in reference to the Hello Garci scandal, dubbing it "Hello Pappy").

In late 2007, ABS-CBN and GMA Network accused AGB Nielsen Philippines of tampering with the ratings during their 2007 ratings surveys.

ABS-CBN demanded ₱127 million from their former reality show star, Willie Revillame, citing copyright infringement due to stark similarities in Revillame's show, Willing Willie on TV5, and ABS-CBN's Wowowee. ABS-CBN listed five acts of plagiarism allegedly committed by Willing Willie in their complaint as follows:

A 25-page ruling dated May 22, 2015, dismissed the case against Revillame. After the Quezon City RTC demanded a ₱400 million bond from Revillame to answer any further damage the network might sustain, the fee was waived.

Since April 2017, ABS-CBN was attacked by the president, Rodrigo Duterte, as the network refused to air his 2016 presidential campaign ads in favor of a smear ad paid for by-then vice presidential candidate Antonio Trillanes. However, according to the country's Commission on Elections spokesperson James Jimenez, the controversial ad was within election law, under "Partisan Political Activity". Duterte publicly stated that he would oppose the 25-year franchise renewal of ABS-CBN, and former Laguna governor E.R. Ejercito supported his plan. Opposition lawmakers as well as labor groups objected to Duterte's stance on ABS-CBN, as the franchise's non-renewal would compromise the employees of the network; stating that the blocking of the franchise renewal had no merit. Opposition groups also claimed that the non-renewal of the franchise violates press freedom.

Under Philippine law, broadcasting networks require a congressional franchise (Republic Act) to operate television and radio stations for 25 years; the absence of one will lead to the suspension of its operations. ABS-CBN's legislative franchise, which was approved by the virtue of Republic Act No. 7966 (granted last March 30, 1995), was scheduled to expire on May 4, 2020, because the franchise will become effective fifteen days after its publication on the Official Gazette on April 19, 1995. At least 12 lawmakers have filed their own versions for a new franchise of the network. House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano assured that Congress will tackle the franchise with fairness.

On February 24, 2020, the CEO of the network apologized to Duterte for not airing his political advertisements during his 2016 polls, which Duterte accepted, and Congress made its decision to investigate their franchise renewal.

During a Senate hearing on the same day, public services panel chair Grace Poe stated they were to investigate ABS-CBN's compliance with the terms and conditions of its franchise. The Senate concluded that there was no breach of laws or franchise terms.

On May 5, 2020, the National Telecommunications Commission issued a cease and desist order to stop the network's broadcast, including its radio stations DZMM and MOR, following the expiration of its broadcast franchise the day before. The cease and desist order covers 42 television stations operated by ABS-CBN across the country, including Channel 2, 10 digital broadcast channels, 18 FM stations, and 5 AM stations.

The network subsequently signed off following TV Patrol. Along with the order, NTC wanted to recall ABS-CBN's assigned frequencies. ABS-CBN explained that it would not be in public interest to have the frequencies recalled, as this would hinder their ability to immediately restart broadcasts in the event a new franchise was granted. Additionally, there were fresh measures in the Congress to grant provisional franchise, which later rolled into a series of hearings to grant a fresh 25-year franchise. NTC was told to refrain from carrying out the recall by the Congress. On July 10, 2020, members of the House of Representatives, voted 70–11 to deny ABS-CBN's franchise application, citing several issues on the network's franchise. According to a survey released by the Social Weather Stations following the rejection of the network's franchise renewal, 75% of Filipinos want the network back.

Niharica Upendra
Answer # 3 #

(3rd UPDATE) – Media network ABS-CBN went off-air on Tuesday night, May 5, after the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) ordered it to stop television and radio operations.

The network signed off at 7:52 pm, following the airing of its primetime newscast TV Patrol.

The shutdown comes at a critical time when Filipinos need key information about the coronavirus crisis.

“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, when people need crucial and timely information as the nation deals with the COVID-19 pandemic,” ABS-CBN said in a statement past 6 pm on Tuesday.

The NTC issued a cease and desist order on Tuesday afternoon after ABS-CBN’s congressional franchise expired on Monday, May 4.

Its radio stations DZMM and MOR were also ordered to stop operations.

“Despite Senate Resolution No. 40, the House of Representatives’ committee on legislative franchises’ letter, the guidance of the Department of Justice, and the sworn statement of NTC Commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba, the NTC did not grant ABS-CBN a provisional authority to operate while its franchise renewal remains pending in Congress,” ABS-CBN said.

“In an interview with DZMM last week, House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano even gave an assurance that there is no move to shut down the network.”

ABS-CBN has over 11,000 workers.

The network was given 10 days from the receipt of the order to respond and explain why the frequencies assigned to it should not be recalled.

“We trust that the government will decide on our franchise with the best interest of the Filipino people in mind, recognizing ABS-CBN’s role and efforts in providing the latest news and information during these challenging times,” the network said.

“ABS-CBN remains committed to being in the service of the Filipino and we will find ways to continue providing meaningful service to them.”

Senators condemned the NTC order as a “grave abuse of discretion,” while the House committee on legislative franchises said the NTC may be held in contempt for not issuing ABS-CBN the provisional authority to continue operations.

Human rights groups expressed dismay as well, with Karapatan saying it is “truly abhorrent that this order comes in the middle of a public health crisis where the free press plays a crucial role in keeping the public informed.”

Iwao Horwitz
Answer # 4 #

The renewal of the congressional franchise of the Philippine media network ABS-CBN to continue broadcasting is a dispute between the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte and the media conglomerate arising on the terms and conditions of the franchise renewal agreement. Amid the controversy, the Congress of the Philippines, country's legislature, was unable to renew the franchise before its expiration date. The congressional franchise expired on May 4, 2020, as the Philippines was dealing with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon. The next day, exercising constitutional powers, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) then issued a cease-and-desist order demanding ABS-CBN to cease all of its free TV and radio broadcasting immediately. ABS-CBN complied with the government order and shut down all of its radio stations and free television channels later that day. On June 30, 2020, the NTC and Solicitor General Jose Calida released two alias cease-and-desist orders against ABS-CBN TV Plus and Sky Direct.

Beginning in 2014 (during the presidency of Benigno Aquino III), the network had repeatedly applied for the renewal of their broadcast franchise through private bills that had been pending in the House of Representatives but had not been addressed by the 16th, 17th, and 18th congresses of the Philippines. Prominent figures in ABS-CBN Corporation, the political opposition in the Philippines, media advocacy groups, and the international press have labeled the refusal of Congress to renew the franchise as a result of Duterte's pressure for ABS-CBN to cease broadcasting and a direct attack on the country's democracy and press freedoms, although sources from the previous administration reported that there was lack of support for renewal because "Mr. Aquino’s allies felt the criticisms against the President were too personal and offensive and went to the point of nitpicking." Duterte's ruling coalition maintains a supermajority in both chambers of Congress, and Duterte criticized the ABS-CBN Network for their allegedly biased and unfavorable news coverage against Duterte beginning with his presidential campaign in the 2016 Philippine presidential election, repeatedly voicing his opposition against the renewal of the network's congressional franchise. ABS-CBN subsequently appealed to the Supreme Court of the Philippines to nullify as unconstitutional the cease-and-desist order.

The resulting franchise expiration and withdrawal of its broadcast rights marked the first time ABS-CBN, considered a historical and cultural icon in the Philippines, had been off the air since the 1986 revolution, having been seized and liquidated by the authoritarian government of the Martial Law dictatorship from 1972 until the regime's collapse in 1986. Critics of the Duterte government consider the NTC's cease-and-desist order and the denial of the franchise application as contributing to a growing democratic backsliding in the Philippines under the Duterte administration.

As prescribed by the American Insular government-era Act No. 3846, or the Radio Control Act, which became effective in 1931 (later amended in 1963), broadcasting networks require a congressional franchise to operate television and radio stations, which usually lasts for up to 25 years. ABS-CBN, which had been operating since June 13, 1946, made its first television broadcast on October 23, 1953, had last been granted a 25-year franchise extension on March 30, 1995, under Republic Act No. 7966 (but later implemented on May 4, 1995). This expired on May 4, 2020, as upheld by the Department of Justice (DOJ).

The Philippines is touted to have the "freest and liveliest press" in Asia, where media is considered a watchdog and a "fourth estate" helping to maintain the checks and balances of democratic governance.

Despite this, the country is consistently ranked as one of the world's most dangerous countries for journalists. In May 2020, it slipped two spots down to 136th place (out of 180 countries) in the World Press Freedom Index.

Media watchdogs such as Reporters Without Borders, the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility, Amnesty International, the Photojournalists' Center of the Philippines (PCP), Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines (FOCAP), and the Consortium on Democracy and Disinformation (D&D) have noted that various forms of attacks against the press have increased since the Duterte administration came to power in 2016 – with the Philippine Daily Inquirer, news website Rappler, nonprofit media organizations like Vera Files and the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, and ABS-CBN being particular targets because of coverage critical of the administration.

Many of these media watchdogs have issued statements placing the ABS-CBN broadcast stoppage in the context of systemic attacks against press freedom in the Philippines. Media groups and people's organizations denounced the shutdown order for being a loss of democracy, freedom of expression, and freedom of the press. Some groups also placed the matter in the context of attacks and harassment aimed at those that criticize the government.

The ABS-CBN broadcast network is acknowledged to be one of the Philippines' oldest and most influential media networks, run by the Lopez family. The company generates about 50 to 60 percent of the group's total annual revenue, mainly from selling airtime of its television and radio properties to advertisers. The remaining revenue is generated from consumer sales through the distribution of cable and international channels, operations of over-the-top platform services, and a family entertainment center in Taguig. According to the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC), ABS-CBN Corporation controlled "somewhere between 31% and 44%" of the Philippines' total television market as of 2020.

Before the 2020 stoppage, ABS-CBN had been closed down on September 23, 1972, when martial law under Ferdinand Marcos was announced and the station's television and radio stations were sequestered. Marcos' Letter of Instruction No. 1-A, signed September 22, 1972, and addressed to the Secretary of the Department of National Defense, accused ABS-CBN and the Associated Broadcasting Corporation (now known as TV5) of delivering "deliberately slanted and overly exaggerated news stories and commentaries," of promoting the ends of the Communist Party of the Philippines, and of having been instrumental in an assassination attempt on Marcos. This stoppage lasted until July 1986, when the sequestered stations were recovered, and the frequencies returned to ABS-CBN.

During those 13 years, use of the company's frequencies (except DZXL-AM 620, awarded to KBS/RPN as DWWW, DZMM-AM 1000, awarded to GMA (later Nation Broadcasting Corporation) as DWXX (now DZAR Sonshine Radio), DZMY-AM 1160 awarded to BBC as DWWA, DZQL-AM 830, awarded to Office of Civil Defense as DZCA, and DZXL-TV 4, awarded to the government-owned National Media Production Center for the launch of Government Television as DWGT-TV in 1974) was awarded to the Banahaw Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) owned by Marcos crony and sugar plantation owner Roberto Benedicto and was launched on November 4, 1973. Under martial law, BBC formed a de facto media monopoly with Kanlaon Broadcasting System/Radio Philippines Network (KBS/RPN), Intercontinental Broadcasting Corporation (IBC, acquired in 1975), and government-owned Government Television/Maharlika Broadcasting System (GTV/MBS). The company's headquarters, the ABS-CBN Broadcasting Center, was also sequestered without compensation from the network's owners and was renamed as Broadcast Plaza to serve as headquarters of BBC, KBS/RPN, GTV/MBS and, from 1980, the Bureau of Broadcasts (BB). Moreover, copies of the old pre-Martial Law ABS-CBN shows had also been lost due to the raid by Marcos troops.

Marcos was eventually deposed by the People Power Revolution of February 1986. The newly created revolutionary government agency Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) sequestered and later dissolved BBC and returned the frequencies to ABS-CBN in July 1986, eventually resuming broadcast on September 16, 1986.

In 2014 and 2015, ABS-CBN requested the 16th Congress to tackle the extension of its franchise early, although its renewal was not due until six years later, in 2020.

Media sources in the legislature indicated that the network's 2016 initiative was the result of having been "particularly singled out" by supporters of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte because of the perception that they "consistently showed him in a negative light". The Philippine Daily Inquirer reported that a member of the House legislative franchise committee said ABS-CBN "did not want to risk going through the renewal under an 'unfriendly' administration".

The Inquirer's source also said that the initiative "lacked support from President Benigno Aquino III's allies in the House" because they felt that ABS-CBN's criticisms against Aquino were "too personal and offensive and went to the point of nitpicking".

ABS-CBN eventually had to withdraw these franchise renewal initiatives due to time constraints.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte attributed his objection to the franchise renewal of ABS-CBN to an election ad controversy during the campaign leading up to the 2016 Philippine presidential election. He said the network refused to air his 2016 presidential campaign ads and favored the negative political ads paid by then-vice presidential candidate Antonio Trillanes critical of his remarks on the campaign trail.

On February 24, 2020, the network's president and chief executive officer Carlo Katigbak apologized to Duterte for not airing his political advertisements during his 2016 polls. Duterte accepted the apology, leaving the franchise's renewal to Congress. ABS-CBN also offered to return the money spent for these advertisements, which Duterte declined, stating that the money should be donated to a charity instead.

Meanwhile, Commission on Elections spokesperson James Jimenez defended the controversial ad as well within Election Law, under "Partisan Political Activity".

Throughout his term, which coincides with the 17th and 18th Congress, Duterte publicly reiterated that he would oppose the franchise renewal of ABS-CBN.

Opposition lawmakers, as well as labor groups, objected to Duterte's stand on ABS-CBN as the franchise non-renewal will compromise the employees of the network; stating that the blocking of the franchise renewal had no merit. Opposition groups have expressed their opinions that the non-renewal of the franchise violates press freedom.

Duterte later changed his stance after the network's apology, stating that he would not interfere with the franchise renewal in Congress. However, Duterte did not say whether he would veto the bill or not.

In November 2016, Nueva Ecija representative Micaela Violago filed House Bill 4349 in the 17th Congress to renew the network's franchise. The 17th Congress adjourned sine die with the bill never getting out of committee.

During the 18th Congress of the Philippines, at least 12 house representatives and two senators filed their versions for a new network franchise. House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano made assurances that Congress will tackle the franchise with fairness.

On January 6, 2020, Albay representative Edcel Lagman filed House Resolution 639, urging the House Committee on Legislative Franchises for its immediate action on the several bills lodged to the committee. At least 91 other representatives signed the resolution.

On February 24, 2020, the Congress finally made its decision to tackle their franchise renewal. During a Senate hearing on the same day, public services panel chair Grace Poe stated they were to tackle ABS-CBN's compliance with the terms and conditions of its franchise. The conclusion was that there was no breach of laws or franchise terms. The following is a summary of the findings:

On February 10, 2020, Solicitor General of the Philippines Jose Calida filed a quo warranto petition before the Supreme Court of the Philippines seeking to revoke ABS-CBN's franchise and that of its subsidiary ABS-CBN Convergence over alleged breaches of its franchise, including operating its pay-per-view service Kapamilya Box Office (KBO), constitutional restriction on foreign ownership of mass media, and resorted to an ingenious corporate layering scheme, to transfer its subsidiary's franchise without Congressional approval. The network responded to disprove the allegations leveled against it.

Within the same month, various congressmen urged the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to grant a provisional authority to ABS-CBN to continue operations after the lapse of its current franchise until Congress should have decided on its franchise application. Having consulted with the Department of Justice (DOJ), the NTC affirmed in March 2020 that it would "likely" issue a provisional authority to ABS-CBN and "let ABS-CBN continue operations based on equity". However, the Federation of International Cable TV and Telecommunications Associations of the Philippines (FICTAP) questioned the provisional authority, stating that it would be unconstitutional.

On June 23, 2020, the Supreme Court of the Philippines dismissed the quo warranto petition to revoke ABS-CBN Corporation's franchise, stating that the petition was moot and academic as the franchise had already expired, therefore the Court would not be changing anything by voiding the franchise ab initio. However, the quo warranto petition filed against ABS-CBN Convergence Inc. for allegedly illegally operating KBO remains pending.

On March 5, 2020, lawyer Larry Gadon filed a petition for prohibition before the Supreme Court of the Philippines, seeking to stop Telecommunications Commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba, House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, and House Committee on Legislative Franchises Chairman Franz Alvarez from issuing ABS-CBN's provisional authority, saying the provisional authority to operate violates the doctrine of separation of powers.

Sixteen days after the shutdown, Gadon announces that he is withdrawing the petition which he filed, seeking to stop Cordoba, Cayetano, and Alvarez from issuing provisional authority, stating that was rendered moot and the act sought to be prevented no longer exists.

On June 2, 2020, the Supreme Court of the Philippines dismissed the petition for the prohibition against Telecommunications Commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba, House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, and House Committee on Legislative Franchises Chairman Franz Alvarez from issuing provisional authority, stating that the court does not deem it efficient.

On May 3, 2020, Calida warned the NTC against granting the provisional authority to ABS-CBN, citing a Supreme Court decision in 2014, stating that provisional authority can only be granted after the franchise is secured in Congress. In the same statement, Calida cautioned that the agency would put itself at risk of prosecution under the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act should they issue the provisional authority without a legal franchise being held by ABS-CBN's operating companies and that a 1991 DOJ opinion stating the NTC may issue provisional authority without a legal franchise was overturned by the Supreme Court.

On May 5, 2020, Philippine House Committee on Legislative Franchises chairperson Franz Alvarez warned the NTC from backtracking. If they did, the NTC could be held in contempt for refusal to issue a provisional authority to ABS-CBN. Six days before, the House Committee on Legislative Franchises issued a show cause order against NTC Commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba, Deputy Commissioners Edgardo Cabarios, Delilah Deles, and Legal Branch Head Ella Blanca Lopez to explain why should not be cited in contempt for issuing the cease and desist order against ABS-CBN. The NTC responded by stating that it was legally bound to order the shutdown of ABS-CBN and apologized to the House of Representatives for failing to notify it of the shutdown order.

On the same day, NTC issued a cease and desist order to immediately close its free-to-air broadcasting operations, including its radio stations DZMM, S+A, and MOR Philippines, following the expiration of its broadcast franchise the day before. The cease and desist order covers 42 free television stations operated by ABS-CBN across the country, including the main ABS-CBN Network, ten digital broadcast channels, 18 FM stations, and five AM stations. However, ABS-CBN News Channel (ANC), The Filipino Channel (TFC), DZMM TeleRadyo (renamed TeleRadyo due to the inclusion of DZMM in the order), and its sister cable channels (run by subsidiary Creative Programs including Metro Channel, which was named after Metro Magazines whose publisher is ABS-CBN Publishing), as well as its online properties, and production companies Star Music and Star Cinema, were allowed to continue as their operations are not contingent on the legislative franchise.

Following the news program TV Patrol, the network signed off the air at 7:52 pm (PST). ABS-CBN executives Carlo Katigbak and Mark Lopez aired statements on the program appealing the NTC's cease and desist order. The newscast was also simulcast on DZMM, S+A, and MOR stations. DZMM radio and television counterpart signed off at 8:20 pm, following SRO: Suhestyon, Reaksyon at Opinyon and rebranded simply as TeleRadyo following the newscast and the digital television networks available on ABS-CBN TV Plus including Asianovela Channel, Movie Central, and the terrestrial operations of Jeepney TV, Myx, O Shopping, and Knowledge Channel also signed off. After the cease and desist order, Cine Mo!, Yey!, and the KBO remain unaffected (during the television premiere of The Mall, The Merrier on KBO channel from May 1–6, 2020).

Along with the order, NTC gave ABS-CBN 10 days to explain why its assigned frequencies should not be recalled. In response on May 15, 2020, ABS-CBN reasoned that "it would be detrimental to the public interest as it would hamper the ability of ABS-CBN to immediately resume serving the public through its broadcasts, once the franchise is granted". Additionally, House Bill 6732 was proposed by House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano on May 13, 2020, which would have granted the network a provisional franchise to operate until October 31, 2020. Subsequently, on May 27, 2020, NTC was told to refrain from carrying out the recall while the Congress deliberates on the measures to grant provisional franchise and a fresh franchise.

On May 7, 2020, TV Patrol resumed broadcast on ABS-CBN News Channel, as it simulcast the program from the leading network since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic programming changes. It was also simulcast on its news website, its Facebook and YouTube pages, as well as on The Filipino Channel to viewers outside the country. On May 8, 2020, the following day, TV Patrol began airing on Cine Mo! and returned on TeleRadyo.

ABS-CBN Corporation filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition as well as temporary restraining order (TRO) to the Supreme Court of the Philippines, seeking to nullify the NTC's cease and desist order on May 7, 2020. (See § Supreme Court case below.) The Senate and the House of the Representatives filed respective bills urging NTC to reconsider its order, as well as to abolish the agency itself.

On May 8, 2020, DZMM TeleRadyo, now rebranded as simply TeleRadyo, resumed its regular programming airing the usual DZMM programming format. TeleRadyo is carried through ABS-CBN TV Plus, making it one of three exclusive channels (the others being Cine Mo! and Yey!) that remain operational on digital free-to-air television after the NTC's order takes effect. ABS-CBN later clarified in a statement that the three channels, along with Kapamilya Box Office channel, continued broadcasting and received in Metro Manila, Laguna province, Iloilo province, and selected areas of Baguio through a block time agreement with AMCARA Broadcasting Network (former owner of Studio 23 from its 1996 launch until ABS-CBN acquired a stake in AMCARA in 2010) owned by the Carandang family. On the same day, MOR Philippines also resumed its online and cable operations through a national programming service set up by the network's flagship station in Metro Manila.

On May 11, 2020, House Representatives Paolo Duterte, Eric Go Yap, and Abraham Tolentino filed House Resolution No. 853, seeking to probe into the corporation's possible violation of its franchise.

On June 1, 2020, Jeepney TV and Asianovela Channel resumed broadcasting on ABS-CBN TV Plus as temporary channel replacements for ABS-CBN and S+A, but both channels are still on free trial.

On June 4, 2020, ABS-CBN announced on TV Patrol that a cable-and-satellite channel named Kapamilya Channel would launch on June 13, resuming the productions of ABS-CBN's dramas and live entertainment shows and airing its entertainment, educational, and current affairs programming, along with temporary movie blocks. However, because of the network's temporary suspension of production of entertainment programs during the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon caused by the COVID-19 pandemic (and later shutdown), the dramas Pamilya Ko and Make It With You confirmed their cancellations and failed to complete their respective stories. Comedy gag show Banana Sundae would also not return to air.

On June 30, 2020, the NTC and Solicitor General Jose Calida issued an alias cease-and-desist order demanding ABS-CBN TV Plus to stop further broadcasting all of its digital free-to-air channels on UHF Channel 43 in Metro Manila and some provinces, as well as Sky Direct to stop broadcasting nationwide as compliance to President Duterte's Objection to its franchise bid.

The Supreme Court initially set the date of tackling ABS-CBN's petition for a TRO on July 13, however, it was moved to August 4.

On May 13, 2020, House Bill 6732, proposed by House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, which grants the network a provisional franchise to operate until October 31, 2020 "unless sooner revoked or canceled", was approved by the House of Representatives convening as a Committee of the Whole. The said bill was awaiting for third and final reading after which it would have been transmitted to the Senate; but on May 19, 2020, the proposal was withdrawn with the chamber opting to go straight to hearing measures seeking to grant the media giant a fresh 25-year franchise.

On May 7, 2020, ABS-CBN filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition asking the Court to issue a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the implementation of the National Telecommunications Commission's cease and desist order. If granted, this TRO would allow them to operate until the case is decided. However, some lawyers have questioned the legal merits of the petition, as it was filed right to the Supreme Court, even before a motion for reconsideration before the NTC or a case in the Court of Appeals. In the petition, ABS-CBN argues that it is proper to have filed first in the Supreme Court, as the case in their view involves "genuine issues of constitutionality that must be addressed at the most immediate time": 17  and that their petition is of "transcendental importance".: 18  On May 18, Larry Gadon filed a motion for consolidation against the ABS-CBN's temporary restraining order, stating that it violates the hiearchy of the courts and the case must be filed at the CA. The following day, the Court accepted the case, ordered the NTC to reply, and impleaded both the House and Senate and dismissing Gadon's plea for a consolidation. The NTC filed its required comment on May 26.

The Supreme Court set a further hearing for July 13 on the merits of the petition, though there may not be a ruling on that date. However, the hearing was rescheduled to August 4, 2020.

The petition to issue a temporary restraining order was dismissed by the Supreme Court on August 25, 2020. In its ruling, the Court invoked the principle of the separation of powers, leaving the matter to Congress.

On October 6, 2020, ABS-CBN Corporation announced a blocktime deal with ZOE Broadcasting Network to air selected ABS-CBN shows from its owned television network on Channel 11's A2Z (formerly ZOE TV) beginning on October 10, after almost three years of speculated rumors. Alongside, the network would also air Light TV-produced programs, ZOE's content partners including CBN Asia and Trinity Broadcasting Network, and others including its blocktimers, licensors, and providers, similar to what GMA News TV (formerly QTV/Q and later GTV) has done before.

A month of launching of the said new channel, the NTC were reportedly to investigate ABS-CBN and ZOE Broadcasting Network if the said blocktime agreement of two stations are processed in legal ways.

On January 18, 2021, the Philippine Star's entertainment columnist Ricky Lo reported that a possible partnership between ABS-CBN and its rival TV5 might happen very soon through its programming partner Cignal TV, which will allow ABS-CBN to air its programs on the rival network and its regional stations, aside from its existing agreement with ZOE Broadcasting Network (which only limited to Mega Manila area). The partnership become evident when ABS-CBN's flagship Sunday variety show ASAP Natin 'To is reported to be carried on TV5 beginning January 24, replacing Sunday Noontime Live! (which was headlined by some ABS-CBN talents). Both ABS-CBN and TV5 later confirmed this move in collaboration with Brightlight Productions and Cignal TV on January 21, with a movie block FPJ: Da King starring Fernando Poe Jr. also included in the Sunday's lineup.

According to TV5 Network and Cignal TV chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan on the addition of more ABS-CBN shows on the network, he said that for now it is "too early" to consider for a said expansion, that is until March 5 where ABS-CBN and TV5 confirmed that ABS-CBN/Kapamilya Channel's Primetime Bida shows will be carried on the said network beginning March 8.

The following is a list of how members of the House Committee on Legislative Franchises voted.

NO to the resolution denying the renewal of the ABS-CBN franchise (11):

YES to the resolution to deny the ABS-CBN franchise (77 - Note: Unofficial list compiled from various news sources. Congressmen refuse to release official list. According to Prof. Jean Franco, associate professor for the University of the Philippines Political Science Department, this translates to lack of transparency and accountability. Franco also stated that the congressmen may be hiding their votes out of fear of vendetta.):

Recused from voting (2):

Abstained from voting (1):

On September 10, 2020, the NTC issued an order recalling all TV and radio frequencies and channels assigned to ABS-CBN and its related radio and local TV stations. The NTC cited the absence of a "valid legislative franchise" as justification for the order. In addition, the NTC also said that all provisional authorities and certificates of public convenience granted to ABS-CBN were also revoked and canceled.

On December 8, 2020, Buhay Party-List Representative and Deputy Speaker Lito Atienza said that the approval of the ABS-CBN franchise might happen on 2021 under the House leadership of Lord Allan Velasco, as he assures the speaker to give some ample time to settle the franchise. On January 4, 2021, Senate President Tito Sotto filed a Senate Bill No. 1967 that seeks to grant ABS-CBN's franchise for another 25 years, with at least 16 senators backing its support for Sotto's bill. Later that day, Batangas 6th District Representative and Deputy Speaker Vilma Santos-Recto, one of the 11 representatives who voted in favor of the franchise on July 10, 2020, said that she will refile her same franchise bill in the House, which Santos-Recto filed a House Bill No. 8298 on January 18. However, SAGIP Party-List Representative Rodante Marcoleta, one of the 70 representatives who voted against the franchise on July 10, 2020, and the host of Net 25's public affairs program, Sa Ganang Mamamayan (lit. For Citizens), reiterated that "major changes are needed" for the network to be able to regain its franchise.

On February 9, 2021, during his public address and an IATF meeting over government-owned People's Television Network, Duterte said that he will not allow ABS-CBN to operate, even if a franchise was given to them by Congress until they settle their taxes. The following day, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, in his Malacañang virtual press briefing, said that Duterte would leave it to the Office of the Ombudsman to investigate ABS-CBN over alleged unpaid taxes and condonation of the network's soured loans.

On February 11, 2021, House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco said that ABS-CBN's franchise renewal will have to wait until 2022.

On July 26, 2021, during Duterte's State of the Nation Address, Duterte intended to reassign the former frequencies of ABS-CBN to different companies.

On January 5, 2022, Advanced Media Broadcasting System (which airs its flagship TV Station ALLTV), backed by the Villar Group through Planet Cable, was awarded a provisional authority license for the Channel 2 analog frequency and its digital counterpart Channel 16 frequency by the National Telecommunications Commission. On January 26, Channel 23 was awarded to Aliw Broadcasting Corporation, and Channel 43 was awarded to Sonshine Media Network International.

On August 16, 2022, the House of Representatives has originally set a briefing on the investment of ABS-CBN in TV5 on August 18, however the briefing was silently announced its cancellation on the following day that was scheduled to happen on that day. Rodante Marcoleta commented on the deal.

Before the expiration of the broadcast franchise, ABS-CBN talents and employees conducted weekly demonstrations in front of its headquarters in Quezon City as well as in its regional stations from January to February 2020. During these demonstrations, presidential daughter and incumbent Davao City mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio expressed support for the franchise renewal.

The NTC's cease and desist order on ABS-CBN was met by widespread criticism by the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) (in which the network is one of its members), as well as various advocacy groups, business organizations, the local Catholic church, and even some members of the Congress. Several journalists and celebrities from the network and its rival GMA Network expressed solidarity with ABS-CBN after it was ordered to cease its radio and TV broadcast. In addition, former president Benigno Aquino III criticized the shutdown of ABS-CBN, stating that Duterte and his administration made their own "unnecessary problem". The hashtag #NoToABSCBNShutDown topped the local and worldwide Twitter trending lists the same day.

Within a day, numerous colleges and universities in the Philippines, including the UPLB College of Development Communication, Ateneo de Manila University and its Communication Department, the University of Santo Tomas, St. Scholastica's College and its Mass Communication Department, De La Salle University, and the UP Diliman College of Mass Communication released statements supporting the franchise renewal of ABS-CBN.

The network's shutdown was noted to have placed the job security of 11,000 ABS-CBN employees in jeopardy during the COVID-19 pandemic, though the company assured them a stable salary, as well as a complete health and financial benefits for the next two months following the shutdown. In response, the government may give a 2-month aid to the employees of ABS-CBN.

GMA Network's shares increased by 24% as the Philippine Stock Exchange voluntarily suspended ABS-CBN's trading. However, investors remained cautious about GMA's stock rally due to the effects of the shutdown on business confidence.

Duterte denied involvement with the network's shutdown, despite earlier assertions that he would oppose franchise renewal. His spokesman, Harry Roque, also thanked the network for its assistance to the country during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Roque, Duterte could not mark the bill renewing ABS-CBN's franchise as urgent as it would involve private interest and that Duterte would be neutral to the renewal.

On May 5, 2020, GMA Network's primetime news program 24 Oras, interviewed the Federation of International Cable TV and Telecommunications Association of the Philippines (FICTAP) President Estrellita Juliano Tamano, who claimed that ABS-CBN violated their 1995 legislative broadcast by airing six channels. She argued that ABS-CBN should be instead broadcasting in one channel only and instead file for a new franchise for each channel they broadcast.

On May 7, 2020, Philippine Cable and Telecommunications Association Inc (PCTA) President Ronaldo Manlapig argued that there is no need to file for a separate franchise for each channel as ABS-CBN uses digital transmission their frequency, hence the multiple channels.

Public criticism in the early days after the shutdown revolved around the NTC, for lack of fairness on the agency's cease and desist order on the network, and Congress – especially the lower house – for inaction to pass the franchise renewal bill.

ABS-CBN's shutdown received international attention as news websites, magazines, newspapers, and broadcasters from around the world including, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Variety, BBC News, CBS News, Time, Al Jazeera, The Guardian, the Associated Press, ABC News, NHK, KBS, Yonhap News Agency, the Financial Times, and The Straits Times published stories on the network's shutdown.

The discontinuation of ABS-CBN's terrestrial broadcast operations created difficulties during the onslaught of Typhoon Vongfong (Ambo), when authorities and residents of some distant provinces, including Aurora, Quezon, and Sorsogon, reported being unable to get updated information about the typhoon from other sources because ABS-CBN was the only national television station whose signal could reach them, and internet data was hard to get in their area.

On June 4, 2020, it was announced that Kapamilya Channel would air programs from ABS-CBN such as Ang Probinsyano and ASAP Natin 'To beginning June 13, 2020, on cable and satellite TV providers nationwide.

Some members of Congress expressed dismay over the decision, including Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, who called the denial "defying evidence". Progressive and sectoral groups in the Philippines such as Akbayan, Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas, and Pamalakaya also slammed the body for the vote. However, on July 13, 2020, Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano stood by the decision to deny the network its franchise.

From July 11 until the end of the month, supporters organized a nightly noise barrage in front of the ABS-CBN studios in Quezon City in opposition to the verdict. Other similarly styled demonstrations were held in front of respective ABS-CBN stations in Davao City, Bacolod, and Naga, Camarines Sur. On July 26, demonstrations in Cagayan de Oro were marred after three funeral wreaths containing ribbons glorifying unidentified individuals left the New People's Army in front of the ABS-CBN station in the city. National Union of Journalists of the Philippines Western Mindanao Safety Officer JB Deveza called such action "a form of death threat" aimed to intimidate the network employees, and the action appeared to be a part of a coordinated red-tagging operation.

On July 16, a movement named People's Initiative for Reforms and Movement for Action (PIRMA), an independent and organic collective of concerned Filipinos moving to advance reforms via people's initiative and referendum launched a signature campaign called "PIRMA Kapamilya" that aims to grant ABS-CBN a people's franchise via democratic experiment of a people's initiative. The signature campaign started on July 25 and aimed to gather 7 million signatures nationwide (3% of registered voters in each legislative district and at least 10% of total registered voters) as a requirement for the COMELEC to call for a referendum on the franchise.

In a related manner, Kantar Media Philippines (ABS-CBN's main client and partner) originally announced the closure of its television ratings service by the end of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the broadcast stoppage of ABS-CBN, however, the decision was reversed following the block time deal between ABS-CBN and ZOE, as well as retaining the majority of its existing staff.

In a related manner, boxing promotion company ALA Promotions (promoted the Pinoy Pride series of bouts aired on ABS-CBN and its sister network, S+A) announced its closure on August 18, 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the broadcast stoppage of ABS-CBN, while its gym division ALA Gym remained operational.

On July 15, ABS-CBN released a statement that it would lay off a number of its workers and close down some of its business operations in light of the denial of the franchise effective August 31.

According to a town-hall meeting called by management hours before the release of the statement, among the first entities bound to close were:

Other company divisions that announced their respective dissolution and reduction of workforces prior to or beyond the July 15 announcement and the August 31 take effect, unless otherwise noted were:

As of December 15, 2022, there were about 5,955 employees and workers that were displaced, retrenched, or laid off by the company itself, according to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

The ABS-CBN shutdown was attributed to information gaps during the media coverage of typhoons that occurred since November 2020, particularly Super Typhoon Rolly, Typhoon Ulysses, Super Typhoon Odette, Super Typhoon Karding and Typhoon Paeng with reports noting the void left by the closure of its provincial news bureaus and lack of a substantial signal reach in provinces far from Manila.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, however, disagreed with netizens claiming that the shutdown of ABS-CBN exposed “information gaps” in calamities such as Super Typhoon Rolly. Responding to a question, Roque said both private and government media are doing their best in providing news updates to keep the public informed. Roque also vehemently refuted the claim of Vice President Leni Robredo that the absence of ABS-CBN's regional unit left some residents in the dark. Roque said his team has been holding public briefings to update Filipinos about the national situation amid recent calamities.

Media experts noted that the shutdown of ABS-CBN has had a chilling effect on newsrooms in the country. Journalism professor Rolando Tolentino defines "chilling effect" as the discouragement of free speech and other legal rights via legal sanction. According to the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility, after the shutdown, fear had taken over some newsrooms resulting in reluctance to do investigative reports. Journalism professor Danilo Arao said the chilling effect caused coverage by some media outlets to become skewed to favor the President Duterte administration and its supporters.

Other similar events:

Ramrao Sud
Answer # 5 #

ABS-CBN Regional ceased its operations on August 28, 2020, after almost 32 years following the denial of its legislative franchise on July 10.