IN a surprise move late this afternoon, May 5, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) fired off a cease-and-desist order to TV network ABS-CBN.
Its 25 year license, said the NTC, had expired the day before, and demanded that ABS-CBN go off the air. The order covers ABS-CBN's AM radio stations, FM radio stations, TV stations, and Digital Terrestrial Television Broadcasting for implementation.
#NoToABSCBNShutdown is currently trending on Twitter.
Among the supporters of the beleaguered network are several senators, who expressed dismay at what was perceived as an overstepping of the NTC’s authority… or according to some opinions, the ill timing of the decision considering the economic crunch caused by COVID-19.
In the network’s final broadcast, longtime anchors Ted Failon, Bernadette Sembrano, and Noli de Castro said farewell messages, clearly emotional as their voices cracked on air.
Before that, ABS-CBN president and CEO Carlo Katigbak also gave his own on-air message.
Reporter Jeff Canoy tweeted tearful moments from the newsroom right after the network went off air.
On social media, Kapamilya star Kathryn Bernardo expressed support for her home network.
The actress tweeted simply: #NoToABSCBNShutdown.
Other celebrities expressed their support and sadness.
Even the academe weighed in on the issue.
Some netizens waxed nostalgic about the 25 year run of the network, which will come to an end — at least for the time being — tonight.
And this one, well, sometimes you need to laugh through your tears.