Philippine Supreme Court junks quo warranto petition vs ABS-CBN

The ABS-CBN main building in Quezon City is draped in the network’s colors.
| Inquirer.net photo

THE Philippine Supreme Court on Tuesday, June 23, dismissed Solicitor General Jose Calida’s quo warranto petition against broadcast giant ABS-CBN on the “ground of mootness.”

“I was able to confirm with Chief Justice [Diosdado] Peralta that the Supreme Court dismissed today during their en banc meeting the quo warranto petition filed by the Solicitor General against ABS-CBN Corporation on the ground of mootness,” said SC Public Information Chief Atty. Brian Keith Hosaka.

He also confirmed that the court still hasn’t issued a resolution on the franchise case of ABS-CBN Convergence, which operates ABS-CBN Mobile.

ABS-CBN Convergence expired on March 17, before the franchise of ABS-CBN Corporation did.

“The complaint against ABS-CBN Convergence remains pending,” Hosaka said.
“Let us wait for the resolution of the court on this matter, as for the reason for their action,” he added.

Malacañang, for its part, said it respects the High Court’s decision.

“We leave it to the Solicitor-General as the petitioner to decide on his next legal steps,” said Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.

“Meanwhile on the issue of renewal of ABS-CBN franchise, we consider this a prerogative of Congress, which is presently deliberating on the matter,” he added.

Calida on February 10 filed a petition before the SC for the cancellation of ABS-CBN’s 25-year franchise, alleging that the TV network reportedly violated rules set by Congress.

“We want to put an end to what we discovered to be highly abusive practices of ABS-CBN benefitting a greedy few at the expense of millions of its loyal subscribers. These practices have gone unnoticed or were disregarded for years,” he said in a statement.

ABS-CBN went off-air after the broadcast of its primetime news program “TV Patrol” on May 5 after the National Telecommunications Commission issued the network a cease-and-desist order.

The order directed ABS-CBN to shut down its various TV and radio broadcasting stations nationwide “absent a valid Congressional Franchise as required by law.”

Republic Act No. 7966, which granted the network a 25-year franchise to operate TV and radio broadcasting stations expired on May 4, 2020.

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