Duterte ally says SC has no jurisdiction over ABS-CBN franchise

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An ally of President Rodrigo Duterte said Wednesday that the quo warranto plea by the Solicitor General against the franchise of ABS-CBN Corp before the Supreme Court has no basis and is not within the jurisdiction of the high court.

Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez said that Solicitor General Jose Calida should have filed the complaint before the House of Representatives against ABS-CBN instead of the Supreme Court since it is the body that legislates renewal of the operating license.

“The Constitution has given the power of franchises to Congress. Solicitor General (Jose) Calida is wrong in usurping the power of Congress by trying to go to the Supreme Court,” he told ANC’s Early Edition.

“It will be dismissed immediately on the grounds that first the Supreme Court has no jurisdiction and secondly, the petition has no basis. The repeal of a franchise is within Congress’ domain. We in Congress will not be deterred by this filing.”

SC should give Congress “respect”

Rodriguez said the high court should grant Congress “respect for an equal branch of government” after hearing the quo warranto petition against former chief justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, which led to her appointment being nulled.

The Solicitor General also filed a quo warranto petition when the House of Representatives were hearing impeachment complaints against Sereno.

“I believe this time the Supreme Court will act accordingly, in accordance with the Constitution and rule of law. After there is an answer by ABS-CBN the Supreme Court will just throw this to the waste can,” he said.

There is ‘no compelling reason’ not to give ABS-CBN Corp another 25-year franchise contract, said Rodriguez.

“It is the sentiment of the House to uphold the Constitution. Can you imagine if you close the biggest television station and media outfit in the Philippines?” he added.

“Can you imagine what has been brought to the people, also abroad not only here by the programs of ABS-CBN, (which) gives information and entertainment all over the world? Can you imagine the effect of the closure of more than 11,000 employees? All of them will have no more jobs. There has to really be a renewal of ABS-CBN’s (franchise) on these grounds.”

Source: Early Edition on ANC

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