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Robredo twits ‘ironic’ OSG bid to gag ABS-CBN amid quo warranto petition

/ 07:32 PM February 19, 2020
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Vice President Leni Robredo. INQUIRER.net file photo / Noy Morcoso

MANILA, Philippines — “Very ironic.”

This was how Vice President Leni Robredo described Wednesday the move of the Office of the Solicitor General to stop broadcast giant ABS-CBN and its representatives from discussing the quo warranto petition it recently filed against the media network.

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“Ako, unang-una, iyong freedom of expression, iyong freedom ng free press, primordial iyon,” Robredo told reporters in an interview.

(For me, first off, freedom of expression, the freedom of the free press, that’s primordial.)

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“Pero iyong mas nakaka… parang, mas nakakatawa doon, iyong ang gina-gag order niya, media. Very ironic na iyong media iyong inaasahan mo na magpapaabot ng information sa tao, tapos sila din iyong sinasabihan mong huwag umimik,” she added.

(But what’s funny here is they are seeking a gag order against a media company. It’s very ironic that a media company that you’re expecting to inform the people is being asked not to speak out.)

The opposition stalwart also branded the move of Solicitor General Jose Calida, the government’s chief lawyer, as “disconnected from reality.”

Calida filed on February 108 a “very urgent motion” asking the high court to issue an order that bans “parties and persons acting on their behalf” from releasing statements and discussing the merits of his plea to forfeit ABS-CBN’s existing legislative franchise.

This is after Calida asked the SC on February 10 to cancel ABS-CBN’s legislative franchise due to alleged “highly abusive practices” in violation of terms set by Congress when it approved the network’s legislative franchise in 1995. 

President Rodrigo Duterte has publicly threatened to block the franchise renewal of the media network over its failure to air his 2016 presidential campaign advertisements. He even told ABS-CBN owners to just sell the company if they want it to stay in business.

Robredo, who is also a lawyer, warned of implications should ABS-CBN be shut down.

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“Iyong isang nakakalungkot, kasi kailangan pang humantong sa isang quo warranto iyong isang apparent na hindi pagkakaintindihan in the past,” Robredo said. 

(It is sad that apparent misunderstanding from the past led to the filing of the quo warranto petition.)

“Iyong implications kasi nito hindi lang naman sa ABS-CBN, eh. Iyong implications nito sa ating lahat: na kung isang media company gaya ng ABS-CBN kayang ma-suppress sa ganitong paraan, sino na [inyo ang] ligtas sa ganitong panggigipit?”

(The implications of this are not just on ABS-CBN. The implications affect all of us: that a media company like ABS-CBN can be suppressed in this way, who would be safe from this kind of suppression?)

Edited by KGA
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TAGS: ABS-CBN, Congress, franchise, gag order, Jose Calida, Leni Robredo, Local news, Media, Nation, national news, news, OSG, Philippine news updates, Politics, press freedom, quo warranto, solicitor general, Supreme Court
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