ABS-CBN franchise has ‘natural deadline,’ no need for quo warranto–Gatchalian
MANILA, Philippines — Why go to court when ABS-CBN’s franchise has a “natural deadline,” anyway?
Senator Sherwin Gatchalian aired this sentiment on Thursday amid the reported plan by government lawyers to ask the Supreme Court to revoke the franchise of the network giant.
According to a news report, the Office of the Solicitor General would file a quo warranto petition before the SC this Thursday.
Gatchalian was initially hesitant to give his comment on the issue as he has yet to see and read the petition once filed in court.
But when prodded during the weekly forum at the Senate, the senator said: “Sa tingin ko dahil itong franchise ay may natural deadline, hindi na siguro kailangan ng quo warranto dahil may natural deadline na.”
(As I view it, the franchise has a natural deadline, so quo warranto is no longer needed.)
“So, ang importante ngayon ay mag-umpisa na yung hearing sa lower house dahil ito ay franchise na mag uumpisa sa lower house. Magkaroon ng hearing, pag usapan kung ano ang naging pagkukulang ng ABS-CBN kung meron man, pag-usapan kung ano ang dapat i-improve kung meron. At least lumalabas doon ang issue,” he added.
(So, what’s important now is to start the hearing in the lower chamber because it’s a franchise that should emanate from the lower house. There will be hearings to discuss the shortcoming of ABS-CBN if there is, and what needs to be improved. At least all issues will surface there.)
ABS-CBN’s franchise is set to expire in March this year. Several bills though have been pending in the House of Representatives and the Senate extending it for another 25 years.
Gatchalian asserted that Congress has the exclusive power to grant, extend, and revoke any franchise.
“But it does not mean na yung mga ibang entities, including ordinary people can’t file quo warranto, pwede rin silang mag file. Pero depende sa basehan talaga,” he explained.
(But it does not mean that all other entities, including ordinary people, can’t file quo warranto, they can file. But it really depends on the basis.)
In 2018, former Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno was ousted by fellow SC justices after they granted the quo warranto petition initiated by SolGen Jose Calida.
Gatchalian was among the 14 senators who signed a resolution in the Senate, seeking an SC review of its own ruling against Sereno.
He said Congress can come up with a new resolution if the petition against ABS-CBN turns out to be without basis.
“Kung makita ng Kongreso inuunahan sila, pwde silang maglabas ng resolution na sinasabing inuunahan sila,” Gatchalian said.
(If Congress sees that they are being preceded at, Congress can issue a resolution to do something about it.)
Edited by JPV
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