Palace denies hand in Villar takeover of ABS-CBN frequencies

Published January 26, 2022, 12:40 PM

by Argyll Cyrus Geducos

Malacañang said that the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) was only seeking guidance from the Office of the Executive Secretary (OES) about assigning available and unused frequencies and the OES had no direct hand in giving ABS-CBN’s frequencies to the Advanced Media Broadcasting System (AMBS).

(File photo)

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles made the statement after it was reported that the NTC has allowed former Senate President Manny Villar’s AMBS to air over Channel 2 and Channel 16 until 2023 “for simulcast purposes”.

The two channels or frequencies were previously used by ABS-CBN before they were forced to go off the air in 2020.

In an interview with CNN Philippines, Nograles said no name of any individual, company, or entity was mentioned when the NTC went to the OES.

“When the NTC went to the OES, it was only to seek guidance on the authority to assign available and unused frequencies,” he told “The Source” on Wednesday, January 26.

“There was no mention of any name, whatsoever,” he added.

The acting Palace spokesman said this was also the case when the NTC approached the Department of Justice (DOJ).

“When NTC went to the DOJ, it was purely asking a legal question. There was no mention of any names of anyone or any private company or any entity,” he said.

“It was a pure, legal question asking for a legal opinion from the Department of Justice regarding authority to allocate unused and available frequencies and the power to issue provisional authorities. When DOJ gave its legal opinion, it was just purely answering a legal question,” he added.

Nograles said at the end, the decision was up to the NTC.

“This is just purely questions. It’s really up to the NTC based on their rules and regulations and based on existing laws,” he said.