388 Phil. 624
"WHEREFORE, in light of all the foregoing, the Commission believes and so holds that respondent’s request for renewal of its temporary permit to operate DWCD-FM should be, as it is, hereby DENIED.Crusaders’ next step was to go to the Court of Appeals, which dismissed its petition for lack of merit.
Consequently, respondent’s assigned frequency, 97.9 Mhz, is hereby withdrawn and recalled, the same to be assigned without reasonable delay to the best qualified applicant.
It is likewise petitioner’s stance that the Court of Appeals erred:Crusaders likewise assigned some substantive and procedural errors on the part of the NTC but the same were affirmed by the Court of Appeals.
1. In upholding the finding of NTC that the "Programming and Marketing Agreement" with Conamor Broadcasting Corporation "to be one for a joint venture, which is a flagrant violation of Radio laws in that it would allow a non-franchise grantee to operate a public utility;" 2. In finding, in general terms, that "the findings of the respondent NTC are supported by substantial evidence and, therefore, should be "accorded respect and finality"; and 3. In upholding the NTC decision under the so-called "doctrine of primary jurisdiction."
Section 1 of Act No. 3846 reads:It should be noted that by virtue of Executive Order (E.O) No. 546, creating the Ministry of Public Works and Ministry of Transportation and Communications, the regulation of radio communications is a function assigned to, and being performed by, the NTC.Section 1. No person, firm, company, association or corporation shall construct, install, establish, or operate a radio transmitting station, or a radio receiving station used for commercial purposes, or a radio broadcasting station, without having first obtained a franchise therefore from the Congress of the Philippines: xxxWhile Section 3 of the same Act provides:Section 3. The Secretary of Public Works and Communications is hereby empowered, to regulate the construction or manufacture, possession, control, sale and transfer of radio transmitters or transceivers (combination transmitter-receiver) and the establishment, use, the operation of all radio stations and of all form of radio communications and transmissions within the Philippines. In addition to the above he shall have the following specific powers and duties:xxx.(1) He may approve or disapprove any application for renewal of station or operator license: Provided, however, That no application for renewal shall be disapproved without giving the licensee a hearing.
It is uncontested as well, that under the said Agreement, Conamor was free from any claim arising from employer-employee relationship.
(a) The sole discretion to determine and implement whatever programs are deemed suitable to make the station competitive; (b) The full discretion to change the station call letters, name, slogan or tagline and such other services that bear upon the station’s identity to improve the station’s market position; (c) The acquisition, at its expense, of a new transmitter, studio, broadcast equipment recording booth, including cost of construction; and (d) A share in the net profit at the rate of 65%, leaving only 35% to respondent, when the new facilities of Conamor became operational. (Exhibits "E-2" and "E-2-a")
"1. Upon execution hereof, the parties hereby agree to jointly operate DWCD-FM at its original office and Broadcasting Station at No. 209 Dela Paz Street, Mandaluyong City, Metro Manila;The said compromise agreement speaks for itself. Conamor has been given the right to operate and manage a radio station despite the clear mandate of the Radio Law that only holders of a legislative franchise can do so. Even on this ground alone, Crusaders can be prevented by the NTC from broadcasting. That the said ground was not reflected in the show-cause order does not mean that the same cannot be raised thereafter by the NTC, as it has done in the present case, when it gleaned a basis therefor during the administrative proceedings, from the evidence presented by the petitioner itself the substance of the agreement between petitioner and Conamor. The said findings were not rebutted by petitioner which kept on harping only on the alleged unfairness of NTC in the application of its procedures as well as on the existence of the said civil case against it and on the refusal of NTC to approve its application for the acquisition of a new transmitter.
2. The parties shall equally share in the expenses as well as in the profits or losses, as the case may be, while they are jointly operating the radio station;
3. The plaintiff shall immediately return the radio station’s official transmitter, antenna system and other available equipment of DWCD-FM from the Strata 200 Building, Emerald Avenue, Pasig City, Metro Manila to the above Mandaluyong City office of defendant;
4. The parties further agree that in the event the subject DWCD-FM would be sold or assigned to a third part, the written consent of the plaintiff shall be indispensably necessary to give effect and validity to any such sale, assignment or disposition of the said radio station;
5. In case of sale, assignment or any disposition of the subject radio station to any third party, 78.94% of the proceeds thereof shall go to the defendant (3.57% of which shall be paid to Atty. Felino Ganal a s (sic) his attorney’s fees) while the remaining 21.06% shall belong to the plaintiff." (Exhibit "J")
"In the main, therefore, the findings of the respondent NTC are supported by substantial evidence. As to whether or not it should have adopted a policy of leniency is a matter that is addressed solely to its discretion.Neither can the Court find merit in the submission by petitioner that the stoppage of its broadcast would not have happened were it not for the case for injunction filed against it. In the first place, the said case could not have been instituted had petitioner not entered into a programming and marketing agreement with Conamor. What is more, it does not dispute the finding of NTC that it (petitioner) could have resumed broadcasting had it complied with the Order of RTC-Pasig to observe the formal requirements for a motion to lift the order of injunction on the basis of a counterbond. Such a simple step petitioner failed to take, and its failure to put up a counterbond engendered the stoppage of its operations for three years and rendered the stoppage of its operation justified.
As in the case of other administrative agencies, the technical matters involved are entrusted to NTC’s expertise. In the matter of issuance of licenses to operate radio stations, it is in a better position than the courts to determine to whom such privilege should be granted in order that public interest will be served. As long as its decisions are supported by substantial evidence, they are entitled to respect from the courts.
The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) numbers among those administrative agencies discharging specialized functions, in this case, the regulation of the nation’s airwaves. As in the case of other administrative tribunals, its findings of fact will be accorded respect, and on occasion, even finality, by reason of their acquired expertise on specific matters within their particular jurisdiction. (Bataan Shipyard and Engineering Corporation v. National Labor Relations Commission, 269 SCRA 199 ; Malonzo v. Commission on Elections, 269 SCRA 380  (sic); Naguiat v. National Labor Relations Commission, 269 SCRA 564 ). The only requirement is that its decisions must be supported by substantial evidence, which need be neither overwhelming nor preponderant (Manila Central Line Corporation v. Manila Central Line Free Workers Union-National Federation of Labor, 290 SCRA 690 )."
"Moreover, the doctrine of primary jurisdiction prevents this Court from "arrogating unto itself" the authority to resolve a controversy which falls under the jurisdiction of a tribunal possessed of a special competence. (Paat v. Court of Appeals, 266 SCRA 167 ). As held in Villaflor v. Court of Appeals, 280 SCRA 297 [1997, which reiterates the rulings in Ismael, Jr. and Co. v. Deputy Executive Secretary, 90 SCRA 673  and Concerned Officials of MWSS v. Vasquez, 240 SCRA 502 :WHEREFORE, the assailed decision of the Court of Appeals is AFFIRMED and the petition for review under consideration is DENIED for lack of merit. No pronouncement as to costs.‘Courts cannot and will not resolve a controversy involving a question which is within the jurisdiction of an administrative tribunal, especially where the question demands the exercise of sound administrative discretion requiring the special knowledge, experience and services to determine technical and intricate matters of fact.’"