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Philippines orders leading TV network ABS-CBN to shut down

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Posted at 2:03 PM, May 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-05 17:03:25-04

MANILA, Philippines (AP) -- A Philippine government agency has ordered the country's leading broadcast network, which the president has targeted for its critical news coverage, to halt operations.

The National Telecommunications Commission ordered ABS-CBN Corp. to stop operating after its 25-year congressional franchise ended. The network's application for a renewal has been pending in Congress.

Congressional leaders have asked the commission to grant the broadcaster a temporary license to continue operations while its renewal request is pending, but the solicitor general has said it cannot operate without an approved franchise.

Media watchdogs are accusing President Rodrigo Duterte of trying to muzzle critical independent media, but government officials say the network must comply with the law.