Oliver Bugarin 6 0 0 4 min to read

ARTA categorically rejects Newsnet’s request for readmission.

The News and Entertainment Network Corporation’s (Newsnet) move for reconsideration (MR) to reverse a decision that nullifies its declaration of completion and order of automatic approval has been categorically rejected by the Anti-Red Tape Authority.

In a ruling dated August 22, ARTA stated that it had taken into account each party’s arguments in light of the Secretary of Justice’s (SOJ) July 9, 2021 Resolution in OSJ Case No. 01-2020, “which has already become final and executory.”

Any comparable motions or manifestations, in this case, will no longer be considered because the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) had previously approved the subject application in accordance with the aforementioned SOJ Resolution, it stated.

“Newsnet’s Ex Abundanti Ad Cautelam [out of an abundance of caution] Motion for Reconsideration dated 4 July 22 and the Manifestation and Motion dated 6 August 2022 are hereby refused,” the ARTA resolution continued. “There being no cogent basis for changing its Resolution from 17 June 2022.”

In addition, ARTA stated that it would continue to adhere to the SOJ Resolution of July 9, 2021, which is now final and executory.

On July 4, Newsnet submitted an MR asking for the declaration of completion and order of automatic approval to be reinstated.

The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) opposed the motion, claiming that Newsnet’s statutory license to run a Local Multi-Point Distribution System (LMDS) had already run out.

According to the NTC, this disqualifies Newsnet from any frequency assignment or allocation.

According to NTC, ARTA is an investigative organization without the authority to decide on the rights and obligations of parties. Hence the finality of judgments cannot apply to it.

Following the expiration of Newsnet’s legislative franchise, NTC issued a “cease and desist order” on August 12 prohibiting Newsnet from carrying out its operations and providing other services as permitted by the given provisional authorities.

Additionally, the NTC mandated that “any and all frequencies that were provisionally assigned to Newsnet” be recalled.

Newsnet presented a decision from the Court of Appeals (CA) approving its petition for mandamus and ordering the NTC to follow the ARTA’s declaration of completeness and order of automatic approval in Newsnet’s favor.

The NTC countered that because it correctly exercised its remedies within the reglementary period, the CA decision is not immediately executory.

NTC argued against Newsnet, stating: “On the contrary, ARTA’s 17 June 2022 Resolution in these proceedings justified the dismissal of the aforementioned Petition for Mandamus.”

According to NTC, this rendered the CA decision “moot” because there is no longer an order that needs to be enforced.

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