NTC ready to bring fight with Newsnet to SC
The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) is keen on taking its legal tussle with News and Entertainment Network Corp. (Newsnet) to the Supreme Court after the Court of Appeals insisted on the enforcement of an already inoperative ruling by the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA).
“The Court of Appeals (CA) decision is not final and the NTC will elevate this case to the SC,” the NTC said in a statement following reports that its motion for reconsideration has been denied by the CA’s Former Eighth Division in a resolution promulgated last March 28.
The NTC, which has not received a copy of the latest CA resolution, maintained that the ARTA ruling cited by the appeals court could no longer be enforced after ARTA eventually reversed it.
ARTA in a Feb. 12, 2022 decision directed the NTC to approve Newsnet’s bid to install, operate and maintain a local multi-point distribution system (LMDS).
LMDS will enable Newsnet to deliver interactive pay television and multimedia services nationwide in the 25.35GHz-26.35GHz frequency range.
But in a resolution issued on June 17, 2022, ARTA recalled the Feb. 12, 2022 ruling. The reversal was upheld by the Office of the President (OP).
“There is no ARTA decision that can be subject of a mandamus,” the NTC said.
The Office of the President, it said, affirmed the reversal last March 31. “For having been issued in excess of its powers, the order never became final,” said the NTC, referring to ARTA.
The OP dismissed Newsnet’s appeal, ruling that ARTA had no jurisdiction over assignment of frequencies.
The NTC also said Newsnet could no longer operate and be assigned a radio frequency when its legislative franchise expired in August 2021.
It cited “a long line of decisions” by the Supreme Court that served as legal precedent, including the SC decision in the case filed by ABS-CBN against NTC.
The NTC, in a decision on May 18, 2022, had already made permanent the cease and desist order against Newsnet. In the same ruling, the NTC also recalled all of Newsnet’s frequencies for lack of a franchise.
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