Solicitor General Jose Calida will ask the Supreme Court to revoke the franchise of ABS-CBN, barely two months after it is set to expire on March 30, the Manila Times reported Thursday (January 16).
Citing “unimpeachable sources,” the Manila Times reported that Calida will file a quo warranto case against ABS-CBN for allegedly violating the terms and conditions of the franchise granted to the network by Congress.
“There were several violations filed by ABS-CBN in their legislative franchise. A petition will be filed before the Supreme Court to revoke its grant,” the paper quoted a source as saying.
The Manila Times said Calida and the assistant solicitor general have already signed the draft quo warranto petition, which will reportedly be filed Thursday.
A quo warranto petition is a special writ or legal action which would compel a person or entity to show by what warrant an office or franchise was held, claimed or exercised.
Rule 66 of the Rules of Court allows the filing of a quo warranto petition against a franchise.
ABS-CBN, along with the Manila Electric Co., was “returned” to the Lopezes under then-President Corazon Aquino in 1986.
The Lopezes filed a case with the Supreme Court claiming that ABS-CBN was confiscated from them by Aquino’s predecessor, the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, during martial law.
The Supreme Court, however, dismissed the Lopezes’ case in 2008 for lack of merit.
President Rodrigo Duterte has repeatedly threatened to block the renewal of ABS-CBN’s franchise, which will expire on March 30, 2020.
Duterte recently advised the Lopezes it will be better if they sell the network since its franchise will not be renewed.
There are at least nine bills filed in the House of Representatives seeking the renewal of ABS-CBN’s franchise. However, they have yet to be discussed by the Committee on Legislative Franchises.