By Charissa Luci-Atienza
The Supreme Court’s decision to junk the quo warranto petition filed by the Office of the Solicitor General against ABS-CBN Corporation should prod the Lower Chamber to immediately resolve the pending franchise application of the Lopez-owned broadcast media giant, the Makabayan bloc said on Wednesday, June 24.
Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate, Gabriela partylist Rep. Arlene Brosas, and ACT Teacher partylist Rep. France Castro cheered at the High Court’s dismissal of Solicitor General Jose Calida’s February 10 petition against ABS-CBN for being moot.
“We welcome this decision of the Supreme Court and sana (hopefully,) the Congress will take this as a cue para pabilisin na rin ang resolusyon ng na-pending application ng ABS-CBN sa kanilang panibagong franchise (to expedite the resolution on the pending application of the ABS-CBN for their franchise renewal),” Zarate said in a virtual press briefing.
“At this point, walang kadahilanan para hindi marenew ang prangkisa ng ABS-CBN. (there is no reason for the ABS-CBN’s franchise not to be renewed.),” he added.
Gabriela Women’s Party Rep. Arlene Brosas said Calida’s filing of the petition “was just mere performance to further threaten ABS-CBN.”
“Kung ito po sa SC ay moot and academic (If this is moot and academic for SC) , para sa amin sa (for us in) Gabriela Women’s Party, senseless at absurd ito (this is senseless and absurd),” she said.
“Ang dismissal ng petition na ito ay senyales din na dapat tindigan na ng Kongreso ang pagresolba sa isyu na ito. (The dismissal of this petition is a sign that Congress should resolve this issue). We urge our fellow lawmakers to heed the calls of Filipinos to renew the ABS-CBN Franchise,” Brosas said.
The franchise renewal measures are still pending before the House Committee on Legislative Franchises, chaired by Palawan Rep. Franz Alvarez.
ACT Teachers Partylist Rep. France Castro asked the Alvarez’s panel to consider as a “cue” the SC’s decision to look at the basis on why the franchise of ABS-CBN should be renewed.
The SC junked Calida’s quo warranto charge, explaining that ABS-CBN’s franchise already expired on May 4, making the case moot.