By Rey Panaligan
The Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday (Feb. 26) reset to March 10 its scheduled deliberation on the quo warranto petition filed by the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) against ABS-CBN Corporation and its subsidiary, ABS-CBN Convergence, Inc.
Aside from the main issue on the quo warranto that seeks to forfeit the franchise of the television company, also reset for deliberation are the pleas for a temporary restraining order (TRO) and a gag order sought by the OSG.
The OSG sought a TRO to stop broadcast network ABS-CBN “from further operating its Kapamilya Box Office (KBO) channel and offering it to the general public.”
ABS-CBN’s KBO is a channel subscription where viewers can watch their favorite movies for a fee.
If a gag order is issued by the SC, the parties in the quo warranto petition – OSG and ABS-CBN and its subsidiary and their representatives – are barred from commenting on or discussing the merits of the case, particularly through the media, and directly to the public.
Under the rules, a violation of a court’s gag order is punishable with a fine or imprisonment or both.
On the resetting of the deliberation, Chief Justice Diosdado M. Peralta said the SC justices need more time to study all the pleadings filed and the comments or answers submitted on the petition and the motions.
In a press statement, the SC’s public information office (PIO) Chief Atty. Brian Keith F. Hosaka said:
“The case will be taken up again by the en banc on March 10, 2020. This is to give the justices time to go over the pleadings submitted by the parties, including the comments recently filed by the respondents.”
The SC had earlier required ABS-CBN and its subsidiary to comment on the quo warranto and the plea for TRO filed by the OSG, and later on the gag order sought by government lawyers.
The comments on the quo warranto as the main case and the pleas for TRO and gag order were filed by ABS-CBN last Monday. As expected, the media network sought the dismissal of the quo warranto petition, and with it, the denial of the pleas for TRO and gag order.