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Supreme Court to resume discussion on ABS-CBN petition vs shutdown order in July

The Supreme Court (SC) will resume on July 13 its deliberations on ABS-CBN's petition against the cease and desist order that forced it to stop broadcast operations, Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta said Thursday.

More than a month after the petition was filed, the SC has yet to act on the media company's request for a temporary restraining order against the National Telecommunications Commission's (NTC) cease and desist order.

By July 13, ABS-CBN will have been off the air for over two months. It had said in an earlier submission to the SC it was losing P30 million to P35 million a day, a "financial hemorrhage" that it claimed could eventually force it to let go of employees.

Asked about the status of the case, Peralta said, at his first online press briefing, that the justice in charge of the petition had asked for a deliberation on July 13.

He said the court waited for the comments from the House of Representatives and the Senate, which it had impleaded in the case. ABS-CBN named only the NTC as respondent.

"The case was set for July 13. When I say July 13, call again for July 13. I don't know if the resolution will already be ready. It is called again July 13," Peralta said.

The NTC issued a cease and desist order against ABS-CBN on May 5, the day after the company's franchise expired, despite saying months prior that it was likely to grant the media giant a provisional authority to operate.

The NTC had said in March that it will heed the advice of the Department of Justice, which has maintained that broadcast entities may continue operating pending congressional action on their application for franchise renewal.

ABS-CBN argued before the highest Philippine court that the NTC acted with grave abuse of discretion and violated the company's rights to equal protection of the law and to due process, as well as the public's right to information.

Aside from a TRO, ABS-CBN also asked the SC to nullify and set aside the cease and desist order.

The NTC has asked the SC to dismiss ABS-CBN's petition for "lack of merit."—AOL, GMA News