Supreme Court can act on ABS-CBN franchise ordeal
MANILA, Philippines — The Supreme Court has the jurisdiction to decide over the validity of media giant ABS-CBN’s franchise, Palace spokesman and presidential legal counsel Salvador Panelo said Wednesday.
“They’re wrong there,” Panelo said of remarks that the Supreme Court does not have jurisdiction over ABS-CBN’s franchise in an ambush interview.
“Because under the Constitution, the Supreme Court can act on any controversy when it involves grave abuse of discretion or whatever. Pasok lahat yun sa Supreme Court,” he added.
Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez earlier reportedly said that Solicitor General Jose Calida should have filed his complaint against the network before the House of Representatives instead of the Supreme Court.
“The SolGen can file a petition of quo warranto if the holder is unlawfully holding that franchise. O eh pag sinabi mong ‘unlawfully,’ edi ibig sabihin may violation,” Panelo said.
Calida filed a quo warranto petition before the Supreme Court to void the network giant ABS-CBN’s franchise due to “abusive practices.”
But ABS-CBN denied the allegations and said that the petition was only an effort to shut down the network.
Panelo also stressed that President Rodrigo Duterte was “not interested” in the network’s franchise renewal and that Congress should “ignore” his personal statements against the TV network.
“Any statement of displeasure by the President to anybody because of an incident that involves him personally should be ignored by them (congressmen) in relation to their official work,” Panelo said.
“The President is not interested in that. Officially? Personal displeasure niya lang yun,” he added.
Duterte previously launched threats against ABS-CBN, accusing the network of estafa for allegedly not providing him the airtime he had paid for during the campaign in the 2016 presidential elections.
ABS-CBN’s franchise is set to lapse on March 30, 2020.
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