The Department of Justice (DOJ) will release next week a legal opinion on whether regulators should extend the franchise of ABS-CBN Corp. if lawmakers fail to pass a law for it before the expiration of the company’s current franchise.
The DOJ is “studying” the National Telecommunications Commission’s (NTC’s) request for a legal opinion on the matter, Justice Secretary Menardo Gueverra said on Thursday.
“We got the request last Tuesday. We’ll reply by next week,” Guevarra said.
In several instances, the NTC issued provisional licenses to operate for networks whose franchises were still being heard in Congress, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go said earlier.
President Rodrigo Duterte has threatened to deny ABS-CBN a new franchise after the expiry of its current broadcast license on March 30.
Duterte accused ABS-CBN of failing to air his campaign ads for the 2016 elections.
Last week, Solicitor General Jose Calida filed a quo warranto petition before the Supreme Court over alleged violations by the network in the terms of its franchise and of the foreign ownership regulation.
ABS-CBN has reiterated that it did violate any law in its 65 years of service./Stacy Ang