ABS-CBN answers quo warranto petition

Television network ABS-CBN Corp. and its subsidiary ABS-CBN Convergence Inc. on Monday filed its comment on the quo warranto petition recently filed by the Office of the Solicitor General before the Supreme Court.

But as of this writing, a copy of ABS-CBN’S answer remained unavailable to mediamen.

Earlier, ABS-CBN filed its comment on the OSG’S plea for the issuance of a gag order.

The network stressed the gag order was a form of prior restraint that violates freedom of expression and of the press.

Last February 10, a “Very Urgent Omnibus Motion” which was personally filed by Solicitor General Jose Calida, urged the high court to forfeit the franchises of ABS-CBN and ABS-CBN Convergence, Inc., saying “they are unlawfully exercising their legislative franchises.”

Also, the OSG stressed the petition was meant to stop the alleged “abusive practices” of ABS CBN.

“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,” Calida said in a statement.

The ABS-CBN franchise is set to expire this March, and bills are pending before the Senate and House of Representatives to have this extended.

On numerous occasions, President Duterte threatened to block the renewal of ABS-CBN’s franchise, accusing the network of biased reporting and riling against its failure to air his political advertisement during the 2016 campaign.

Under the 1987 Constitution, the granting of a franchise to television and radio companies is a power lodged in Congress

International group Human Rights Watch decried President Duterte’s moves blocking the franchise renewal, taking it as a curtailment of press freedom. The group added that lawmakers should remain “independent” from the President’s whims.

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