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Palace defends Calida, NTC chair from criticism over ABS-CBN closure

Malacañang on Wednesday defended Solicitor General Jose Calida and the National Telecommunications Commission head from attacks over their actions leading to the shutdown of ABS-CBN.

In an interview on television, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque brushed aside the observation that Calida pressured the NTC to push for the closure of the media company.

“Tapatan. Hindi po nag-influence si Calida. Sumulat po siya, that’s in due course of his job. He is perfectly within his rights to write,” Roque said.

Roque also defended NTC commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba, pointing out that the official cannot be dictated on because he has been serving different administrations.

“Tapatan. ‘Yung chair ng NTC, ilang presidente na po ang pinagsilbihan niya. Wala pong puwedeng magsabi na nadidiktahan itong si chairman Cordoba,” Roque pointed out.

On Tuesday, the NTC issued a cease and desist order against ABS-CBN to operate its various television and radio broadcasting stations nationwide after its franchise lapsed on May 4, 2020.

Earlier, Calida warned NTC commissioners that they could face Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act charges if they allow ABS-CBN to operate with a provisional authority after its franchise expired.

NTC Deputy Commissioner Edgardo Cabarios on Tuesday said the commission’s decision is not stimulated by Calida’s threat.

The network's franchise application is still pending in Congress. —Joviland Rita/LBG, GMA News