Villar takes over ABS-CBN's frequencies, channels

MANILA, Philippines –
Business tycoon Manny Villar's company has temporarily taken over the former channels/frequencies of ABS-CBN.

Villar takes over ABS-CBN's frequencies, channels

ABS-CBN Corp. lost its franchise in 2020 when its application got rejected by a congressional committee. Almost two years later, Villar's Advanced Media Broadcasting System (AMBS) was able to secure a provisional authority to operate a digital TV broadcasting system in Metro Manila using Channel 16, ABS-CBN's old frequency.

The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) confirmed that it granted AMBS a temporary permit to do a test broadcast on analog Channel 2. They also allowed the Villar-owned company to install, operate, and maintain a digital television broadcasting system in Metro Manila using Channel 16.

The NTC stated, "After the technical evaluation of AMBS request for a simulcast channel, Channel 2 (the paired analog channel in Mega Manila of digital channel 16) was temporarily assigned to AMBS. This temporary assignment is for simulcast purposes only, and only until the analog shut-off scheduled in 2023."

According to NTC, AMBS was the first applicant for an authority to operate a digital TV in Metro Manila. "AMBS has been waiting for an available digital frequency since 2006 after undergoing a quasi-judicial process which includes notice to all interested/affected parties and hearing," NTC stated.

NTC Commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba denied that there is conflict of interest in the granting of temporary permits. He signed the document saying, “The temporary permit does not confer any vested right or interest in the grantee thereof."

The document also showed that the NTC sought legal advice before granting the permit. The Office of the President-Office of the Executive Secretary "interposed no objection for the NTC to proceed with the issuance of CPCNs/PAs and to assign vacated and available frequencies to qualified entities."

"AMBS was granted the PA after the determination of its legal, technical, and financial qualification," the NTC said in a separate statement.

Villar's daughter, Las Piñas Representative Camille Villar, was among the 70 congressmen who voted to reject the renewal of ABS-CBN. Villar's son, Mark Villar, became the secretary of the Department of Public Works and Highways from 2016 to 2021. He is running for a senatorial seat under the Marcos-Duterte tandem.

— Sally, The Summit Express

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