Defense of the Republic of the Philippines

Miscellaneous and non-defense topics => Politics and Government => Topic started by: adroth on February 11, 2020, 01:24:32 PM

Title: SC orders ABS-CBN to comment on quo warranto suit
Post by: adroth on February 11, 2020, 01:24:32 PM
SC orders ABS-CBN to comment on quo warranto suit
By Benjamin Pulta  February 11, 2020, 1:18 pm

MANILA -- The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday ordered broadcasting firm ABS-CBN to comment on the quo warranto suit filed by Solicitor General Jose Calida seeking to cancel the firm's franchise.

"Acting on the quo warranto petition filed by Solicitor General Calida on behalf of the Republic against respondents ABS CBN Corp. and ABS CBN Convergence Inc., the Supreme Court in today’s en banc session required the respondents to file their comment to the said petition for quo warranto within a non-extendible period of 10 days from receipt of notice," SC Public Information Office spokesperson Brian Keith Hosaka told newsmen.

The Office of the Solicitor General on Monday filed a quo warranto petition before the high court seeking to forfeit the legislative franchise of the network.

"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.

Calida said ABS-CBN had been hiding behind an "elaborately crafted corporate veil", and alleged that it was allowing foreign investors to take part in the ownership of a Philippine mass media entity by issuing Philippine Deposit Receipts (PDRs) through ABS-CBN Holdings Corp., which is a violation of the 1987 Constitution.

Under the 1987 Constitution, mass media ownership is limited to Filipinos.

"This simply means that mass media companies operating in the Philippines must be 100 percent Filipino-owned because they play an integral role in the nation's economic, political, and socio-political landscape," Calida said.

Calida added the broadcasting firm "abused" the privilege granted by the State when it launched and operated a pay-per-view channel in ABS-CBN TV Plus, the KBO Channel, without prior approval or permit from the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC).

"While it is true that broadcasting is a business, the welfare of the people must not be sacrificed in the pursuit of profit," Calida said.

Calida said ABS-CBN Convergence, Inc. resorted to an "ingenious corporate layering scheme" in order to transfer its franchise without the necessary congressional approval.

"The legislative franchises of ABS-CBN Corporation and its subsidiary, ABS-CBN Convergence, Inc. must be revoked. A franchise is a special privilege granted by the State, and should be restricted only to entities which faithfully adhere to our Constitution," he said.

In a statement, ABS-CBN denied Calida's allegations and insisted on its compliance with all laws governing its franchise.

"All our broadcast offerings, including KBO, have received the necessary government and regulatory approvals and are not prohibited by our franchise," the network said.

It also reiterated that its PDRs "were evaluated and approved" by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Philippine Stock Exchange prior to its public offering.

At least 11 lawmakers filed proposals to take up whether the Lopez-controlled firm's congressional franchise should be granted when its original franchise expires on March 30.

Under the law, the grantees of a broadcasting franchise must secure from the government, through the NTC, the required permits and licenses for their operation. (PNA)
Title: Re: SC orders ABS-CBN to comment on quo warranto suit
Post by: adroth on May 06, 2020, 02:53:35 AM
ABS-CBN can exhaust legal remedies available
By Azer Parrocha  May 5, 2020, 8:17 pm

MANILA – Malacañang on Tuesday said media giant ABS-CBN “is free to exhaust all legal remedies available” after the National Telecommunication Commission (NTC) ordered it to stop its operations.

The NTC issued a cease and desist order against ABS-CBN following the expiration of its congressional franchise on May 4, 2020.

“The Palace notes that the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) has issued a cease and desist order against ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation for lack of a valid legislative franchise. ABS-CBN is free to exhaust all legal remedies available to it,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Roque said in a statement.

Roque said President Rodrigo Duterte has already accepted the network’s apology so he was leaving the matter to the Congress.

Last February 26, Duterte said he accepted the apology of ABS-CBN president and CEO Carlo Katigbak over his unaired campaign advertisements during the 2016 presidential elections.

“Let the public be informed that broadcast franchises are within the authority of Congress. It has discretion on what to do with the legislative franchise of ABS-CBN and other broadcasting companies similarly situated,” Roque said.

He thanked the network for its services to the Filipino nation and people especially in this time of coronavirus disease (Covid-19).

However, Roque also said the absence of a legislative franchise, ABS-CBN’s continued operation is entirely the decision of the NTC.

In its order dated May 5, the NTC directed the network to halt operations of its various television (TV) and radio broadcast stations nationwide.

The NTC has also given ABS-CBN 10 days from the receipt of the order to respond as to why the frequencies assigned to it should not be recalled.

ABS-CBN, in a statement, said it will go off-the-air starting Tuesday night.

"This is in compliance with the cease and desist order issued by the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) today that prohibits ABS-CBN from continuing its broadcast operations effective immediately," it said.

Solicitor General Jose Calida said the NTC commissioners could face prosecution under the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act if it decides to issue the provisional authority to ABS-CBN.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, meanwhile, said that ABS-CBN may continue with its operations pending the renewal of its franchise.

Roque expressed confidence that Congress would tackle all the issues on the legality of granting a franchise to ABS-CBN, including the broadcast firm’s supposed violation of the 1987 Constitution when it allowed foreign ownership of the Philippine media entity. (PNA)
Title: Re: SC orders ABS-CBN to comment on quo warranto suit
Post by: adroth on May 06, 2020, 10:12:34 AM
ABS-CBN: Philippines' biggest broadcaster forced off air
5 May 2020

The Philippines' top broadcaster has gone off air after it was ordered by the media regulator to stop operations.

ABS-CBN said it had been told it could continue broadcasting while it waited for Congress to renew its licence, which expired on Monday.

But the regulator said it must stop on Tuesday.

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Just before its main channel went dark, Chairman Mark Lopez told viewers: "It's painful for us that we are being shut down, but it's also painful for millions of our countrymen who believe that our service is important to them."

In an earlier statement, ABS-CBN said it would stop operations on Tuesday evening to comply with the order from the National Telecommunications Commission, and urged lawmakers in Congress, the lower house of parliament, to renew its franchise.

"We trust that the government will decide on our franchise with the best interest of the Filipino people in mind, recognising ABS-CBN's role and efforts in providing the latest news and information during these challenging times," the channel said in a statement.

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