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Defense, PNP press corps stand by ABS-CBN amid franchise revocation issue

/ 09:10 AM February 12, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Defense Press Corps (DPC) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) Press Corps on Wednesday expressed its support to ABS-CBN as the broadcast network faces a quo warranto petition filed by Solicitor General Jose Calida before the Supreme Court for the cancellation of its 25-year franchise.

In a statement on Tuesday, the DPC called the petition an “attempt to intrude into a purely legislative power through the Supreme Court.”

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“Calida’s attempt, while an overreach of his office’s function is clearly a move to utilize the country’s laws as a tool for harassment and retribution,” the Defense Press Corps noted.

It also called on Congress to renew the network’s franchise.

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“We stand by our ABS-CBN colleagues who are among the truth-tellers feared by the powerful corrupt and abusive. Shutting down ABS-CBN would be a triumph for the oppressor,” the group said.

Meanwhile, the PNP Press Corps expressed “serious concern” on the case filed by the government’s chief lawyer, calling it an “attempt to stop the operation” of the broadcast giant.

“We stand with our fellow media workers at ABS-CBN, we stand for fair treatment and due process, and we stand for freedom of the press,” the PNP Press Corps said in a separate statement on Wednesday.

“Amid various arguments pertaining to this matter, all of these still boil down to the issue of press freedom which is enshrined in the Constitution, and which is part of the real meaning of democracy,” it added.

Through the quo warranto petition (Latin for “by what warrant or authority?”) filed on Monday, Calida said the high court should revoke the congressional franchise of ABS-CBN and its subsidiary, ABS-CBN Convergence Inc., for violating its terms and the Constitution.

READ: SolGen asks SC to scrap franchise of ABS-CBN

READ: BREAKING: Solicitor General asks SC to forfeit ABS CBN’s franchise

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In filing the petition, Calida cited “highly abusive practices” of the network “benefiting a greedy few at the expense of millions of its loyal subscribers.”

ABS-CBN maintained it did not violate any law governing its franchise and that it had secured all necessary approvals for its business operations.

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TAGS: ABS-CBN, Jose Calida, Office of the Solicitor General, PNP Press Corps
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