In a report released Wednesday, Fitch Solutions Country Risk & Industry Research said the cease and desist orders from the National Telecommunications Commission against the two Lopez-owned companies revealed the “politicization of telecoms services in the Philippines,” which adds to earlier concerns of an inefficient regulatory regime which has already kept potential investors hesitant.
“The forceful termination of ABS-CBN and Sky’s broadcasts are highly politicized and clearly linked to President Rodrigo Duterte’s opposition toward ABS-CBN,” the report read. “Duterte has repeatedly stated his opposition toward the renewal of ABSCBN’s franchise, perceiving that the broadcaster had unduly favoured a rival presidential candidate in the 2016 presidential election.”
The NTC ordered the network to stop its TV and radio broadcasts on May 5 following the expiration of its 25-year franchise, despite the request of lawmakers to grant a provisional authority to sustain operations pending a new franchise law. Meanwhile, the digital TV transmissions of Sky Direct as well as of TV Plus programs in Metro Manila have also been halted due to a separate NTC order on June 30