Lawmaker: Gadon’s petition before SC on ABS-CBN, NTC is ‘baseless meddling’
MANILA, Philippines — A lawmaker described as “baseless meddling” a petition asking the Supreme Court to stop the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) from granting provisional authority to ABS-CBN pending the renewal of its franchise.
“I hope the Supreme Court justices will simply not take action or not take cognizance of the petition for prohibition of Atty. Lorenzo ‘Larry’ Gadon against the House of Representatives,” Rep. Alfredo Garbin Jr. of the Ako Bicol party-list said in a statement on Friday.
“Gadon’s petition is baseless meddling in the affairs of Congress. He is asking the Supreme Court to intervene in a subject matter over which Congress has exclusive jurisdiction,” he added.
Gadon, in a taxpayer’s petition, urged the SC to issue a temporary restraining order to prevent the NTC from complying with the letter-directive of Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and Rep. Franz E. Alvarez as chair of the House Committee on Legislative Franchises.
The lower chamber earlier asked the NTC, through a letter, to allow the continued operation of the network while Congress is tackling franchise renewal bills.
“Gadon is asking the Supreme Court to tell a co-equal branch what to do on a matter that the Court has no right or power to intervene,” Garbin pointed out.
The lawmaker noted that the letter Gadon was “challenging” was sent to the NTC after “proper guidance” from Cayetano.
“Aside from that proper letter to the NTC, Speaker Cayetano also made the right decision to schedule on March 10 the committee hearings on the ABS-CBN franchise bills. These actions have sound, constitutional bases. In contrast, the Gadon petition is bereft of constitutional foundation,” he said.
“This heckler seeks to challenge the constitutional authority on the grant of legislative franchises vested exclusively in Congress,” he added.
Garbin said Gadon’s petition also goes against the pronouncement of Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra who earlier said in a Senate hearing that Congress, through a concurrent resolution, could authorize the NTC to grant provisional authority to ABS-CBN to continue its operations while the chamber tackles bills on the renewal of its franchise.
“Sadyang wala talaga sa lugar ang panghihimasok nitong si Gadon na kailan lamang ay sinuspindi sa pagka-abogado ng Korte Suprema. Gusto pa niyang idamay ang Korte Supreme sa naisin niyang i-etse-pwera ang kapangyarihan ng Kongreso sa isyu ng prangkisang ipinagkakaloob ng lehislatura,” he added.
“Let us also consider that he himself admitted last October 2019 that he has ‘not really practiced law by appearing in court hearings for almost five years already.’
Gadon was quoted as saying that his ‘kind of lawyering is consultancy on legal strategies, contract negotiation, drafting of agreements which are corporate and business in nature.”
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