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Congressman calls for investigation into SolGen Calida, NTC for ‘conspiracy’ against ABS CBN franchise

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A lawmaker has called an investigation for the alleged “conspiracy” between Solicitor General Jose Calida and the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) in shutting down the ABS CBN network.

House committee on public accounts chair Mike Defensor filed a House Resolution (HR) Number 846 on Friday to probe into Calida and NTC officials for corruption, pergury, and violation of ethical standards.

Defensor argued that NTC is at fall for withdrawing its decision to give the network the provisional authority to operate beyond its franchise expiration date on May 4.

The lawmaker blamed Calida for “pressuring” the commission to revoke its promise. Defensor described the act as “contemptuous” that “utterly disrespect not only the committee on legislative franchises but the entire House of Representatives including the Senate.”

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Several politicians also expressed their disapproval to shutting down the network, among them were Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and Vice President Leni Robredo.

Other analysts and lawmakers, however, disagreed with Defensor, reminding that the House delayed the ABS CBN’s renewal petition before the deadline.

Albay First District Representative Edcel Lagman insisted that the House, particularly Cayetano, made the NTC a scapegoat for failure in exercising leadership over the issue.

ABS CBN has filed the first bill for franchise renewal in September 2014 during the Aquino administration, but remained pending before the House committee of legislative franchises.

The House legislative franchises only held its first hearing on ABS CBN’s bill on March 10 this year, days before the Congress’ Lenten break. No representatives from the network were invited to any hearing yet.

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