ABS-CBN franchise has 'natural deadline,' no need for quo warranto--Gatchalian | Inquirer News

ABS-CBN franchise has ‘natural deadline,’ no need for quo warranto–Gatchalian

By: - Reporter / @MAgerINQ
/ 03:57 PM January 16, 2020

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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TAGS: ABS-CBN, franchise, Legislation, Media, Politics, Senate, Sherwin Gatchalian
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