DAVAO CITY, Philippines — The regional ​National Telecommunications Commission ​recommended ​the issuance of cease and desist orders (CDOs) against 30 local radio stations in the Davao region for alleged illegal operation.

Nelson Caňete, regional director of NTC-11 said the radio stations lack necessary documents to operate and do not have licenses.

Of the 30 erring radio stations, 10 are in Davao del Sur, five in Davao del Norte and the rest are in Davao Oriental and Compostella Valley province.

NTC-11 is also eyeing to recommend CDOs to two radio stations in Davao City situated in Matina Shrine Hills and Toril for illegally putting up transmitters using bamboo poles instead of steel.

“Even if they have papers, knowing that their tower transmitters are made of bamboo pole, I will recommend show cause or cease and desist order,” Cañete said during the AFP-PNP press briefing on Wednesday, January 17.

Caňete added that once the CDOs will be implemented, they will be confiscating and destroying the transmitters to assure they will no longer continue its illegal operations.

“This will be very harsh as far as region 11 is concerned for broadcast for this year,” Caňete said, pointing that the commission will impose stricter monitoring and implement CDOs to the violators.

Caňete made the announcement a day after Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) revoked the certificate of incorporation of the news organization Rappler for violating “constitutional restrictions on ownership and control of mass media entities.”

Rappler is an independent online news site known to have been critical of President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration.

Caňete admitted that he fears that the issue on “curtailment of press freedom” might also come out once the CDOs are implemented.

“We are not here to curtail the freedom of the media. What we want is you comply with our regulation on the technical side, not because we hate you but because we are here to implement only our regulation,” Caňete explained.

“Whether you are pro-Duterte or anti-Duterte as long as your radio station has no permit has no license, we will implement the CDO,” he added.

In a television interview, Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster sa Pilipinas (KBP)-Davao Chapter admitted that they have received complaints regarding the illegal operations of radio stations and expressed its support to NTC’s move.

KBP maintained that the issue is on the legalities of operation and not the curtailment of press freedom. (davaotoday.com)

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