For lack of legal standing, SC junks lawyer’s petition challenging CDO vs ABS-CBN

Published June 17, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Rey Panaligan

The Supreme Court (SC) has dismissed outright the petition of a lawyer who challenged the National Telecommunications Commission’s (NTC) cease and desist order (CDO) that forced television network ABS-CBN Corporation to halt its nationwide broadcast last May 5.

This view shows the ABS-CBN network headquarters in Quezon City in the Metro Manila area on May 5, 2020. (Photo by Maria TAN / AFP / MANILA BULLETIN)
This view shows the ABS-CBN network headquarters in Quezon City in the Metro Manila area on May 5, 2020. (Photo by Maria TAN / AFP / MANILA BULLETIN)

In a full court resolution issued after its full court session last June 16, the SC ruled that petitioner Atty. Paris Real has no legal standing to file the case.

As of Wednesday morning (June 17), the SC has not released its resolution.

The petition filed by ABS-CBN against the NTC’s CDO is set for deliberation on July 13, Chief Justice Diosdado M. Peralta said last week.

It was not known immediately if ABS-CBN’s original and reiterative pleas for a temporary restraining order (TRO) against NTCs CDO will still be considered or if the petition itself is submitted for decision.

The SC had earlier dismissed the petition, also for lack of legal standing, of lawyer Lorenzo Gadon who pleaded the High Court to stop the NTC from issuing ABS-CBN a provisional authority (PA) to operate.

Gadon had earlier withdrawn his petition and claimed his case had become moot with the issuance of NTC’s CDO.

But the SC, instead of granting the motion to withdraw, dismissed Gadon’s petition.

The SC said:

“Filing cases in the Supreme Court is a serious affair. It should never be considered except when all the requisites of judicial review are present. Certainly, it should never be contemplated by one who admits not suffering any legal injury. Not only will the over eagerness to file border on the contumacious, it also puts in unnecessary peril the legal arguments of the person or entity that has an actual case.”

In his petition, Real told the SC that ABS-CBN’s franchise has not expired due to the current public health emergency brought about by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

“The expirations of the franchises of ABS-CBN and its permits to operate, certificates, and licenses from the NTC, were interrupted, tolled and/or suspended by the aforesaid Emergency Laws during the Community Quarantine and the same shall ‘continue to be valid sixty (60) days after the end of the government-imposed quarantine period,’” Real said.

He also claimed: “In fact, the same emergency laws mandate that the ‘holders of these permits, certificates, and licenses shall be given sixty (60) days from the end of the government-imposed quarantine period to file for the renewal of their permits, certificates, and licenses, without penalties or surcharges.’”