PNCC Interrupts OTV's Broadcast Due To Airai Election Programs

March 3, sickness 2014

On Monday March 3, 2014, Palau National Communications Corporation interrupted the broadcast of OTV and OTV er Kid until 7p.  OTV was airing political programs and ads dealing with the Airai election.  OTV had contacted legal counsel and the Attorney General prior to Airai Election Day to make sure that the National Election law regarding campaigning did not apply to States and was informed that it did not.  However, attorney for PNCC Kevin Kirk advised that in his opinion the National Government has the ability to restrict state elections and ultimately freedom of speech.
Jeff Barabe, President stated.  “The AG’s opinion is that the National Election Law regarding campaigning does not effect state elections.  PNCC has acted on it’s own under advise of counsel to censor our broadcast.  As a media and news agency we are deeply concerned when a semi-government service provider takes on the role of a regulatory agency.  Why should PNCC interfere in State elections when it doesn’t need to?  Let the AG, the Election office and the court determine what the law is and how it should be enforced.”
The attorney for OTV sent a letter to PNCC stating that they were interfering with Freedom of speech, states rights and the ability for OTV to generate revenue however PNCC ignored the position.