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ABS-CBN's last moments before going off the air for now
ABS-CBN TV network
The STAR/Boy Santos, file

ABS-CBN's last moments before going off the air for now

Rosette Adel (Philstar.com) - May 5, 2020 - 9:02pm

MANILA, Philippines— At 7:52 p.m. on Tuesday, broadcast giant ABS-CBN’s Channel 2 and Studio 23 officially went off air, hours after the National Telecommunications Commissions issued a cease and desist order against the network “due to the expiration of its congressional franchise.”

The NTC ordered the network to “to stop operating its various television and radio broadcasting stations nationwide.”

In compliance with the directive, the network decided to close down all its radio and television stations including, ABS-CBN, DZMM, MOR and DZMM Teleradyo. 

The NTC gave ABS-CBN ten days upon receipt of the Order to explain why the frequencies assigned to it should not be recalled.

The 25-year franchise of ABS-CBN, granted on March 30, 1995 through Republic Act 7966, expired on Monday, May 4.

The historic shutdown came nearly five decades since it was shutdown after late dictator Ferdinand Marcos declared Martial Law.

Minutes before the channel was replaced by static, ABS-CBN CEO and president Carlo Katigbak and chair Mark Lopez both delivered heartfelt speeches on the NTC’s order to halt broadcast on TV and radio aired on TV Patrol, also the last news program the network aired.

“Kaya mawawala na po sa ere ang ating ABS-CBN ginawa na po natin ang lahat ng requirements para sa renewal at wala rin po kaming nilabag na batas. Pati po ang Kongreso na ayon sa batas ay may kapangyarihan na magutos sa NTC na magbigay ng provision authority sa tv stations ay nagsabi po na bigyan na muna ang ABS-CBN ng provision authority marahil naintindhan ng ating mga mambabatas na mahalaga ang ating serbisyo lalong lalo na sa panahong ito,” Katigbak said.

Katigbak called on the public to voice their opinions on the network’s closure.

He dedicated ABS-CBN’s service to the millions of Filipinos who were serviced by the network as well as the thousands of workers whose livelihoods were affected by the network shutdown.

“Ipadama, isaad at ipadinig po natin ang ating nararamdaman sa pagsasara ng ating ABS-CBN. Sa oras na ito, kami naman po ang humihingi ng inyong pagdamay. Maraming salamat po, mga Kapamilya,” he said.

Lopez, for his part, likewise dedicated its service to the millions of Filipinos and recalled how the network has been serving the public especially during times of calamities, tragedies and now the coronavirus pandemic.

“Masakit sa amin na ipinasasara kami, pero masakit din ito para sa milyon-milyong kababayan natin naniniwalang ang aming serbisyo ay mahalaga sa kanila. Marami pa po tayong mga hangarin para sa mga Pilipino at sa ating bayan,” Lopez said.

Anchors of TV Patrol also gave their emotional final bows, minutes before the network went off air.

“Karangalan po namin na maglingkod sa inyo, kabayan. Hindi man na-renew ang aming prangkisa at pinatitigil ang ating broadcast, nangangako kami sa inyo na hindi kami mananahimik sa pagatakeng ito sa ating demokrasya at sa malayang pamamahayag,” veteran broadcast journalist Noli de Castro said.

“Sa harap po na pinakamalaking dako at hamon sa aming kumpanya at sa aming mga hanap-buhay, hinding hindi namin kayo tatalikuran, kabayan. Mga kapamilya kami. Tayo ang ABS-CBN. In the service of the Filipino. Saan man sila naroroon, sa buong mundo,” he also said.

The network immediately aired the Philippine national anthem which normally airs at midnight at the end of the broadcast day.

“This is ABS-CBN Corporate Channel 2, a commercial television station transmitting on a 346.2 kilowatt effective radiated power with permit number BSD 0121-208 MOD authorizing the station to operate until December 31, 2020," their final title card read.

"This is ABS-CBN Corporation Channel 2, in the service of the Filipino, now signing off."

Related video:

ABS-CBN ABS-CBN FRANCHISE RENEWAL NTC
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