MANILA (Reuters) – The Philippines’ telecoms body ordered the country’s leading broadcaster ABS-CBN Corp to cease operations on Tuesday, as a parliament dominated by President Rodrigo Duterte’s loyalists dragged its feet over renewing its license.
A man runs outside the ABS-CBN network headquarters where candles are lit following government orders to cease its operations, in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines May 5, 2020. REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez
Duterte has repeatedly threatened to block the renewal of ABS-CBN’s franchise, after the channel angered him during the 2016 presidential election by refusing to air his campaign commercials.
Opposition lawmakers described the order for the channel to suspend operations as “ill-timed” given the need to inform the public in the battle against the coronavirus outbreak in the country.
In a statement, ABS-CBN said it will stop operations Tuesday evening to comply with the order from the National Telecommunications Commission, while also imploring lawmakers in Congress,