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Palace allays ABS-CBN quo warranto fear

Panelo believes it is the job of the Solicitor General to file a “quo warranto” petition against the broadcasting network over a franchise violation. #quowarranto #ABSCBNfranchise



Sen. Panfilo Lacson's fear for a constitutional crisis is baseless, according to Panelo. (PL)
Malacañang Sunday allayed fears by Senator Panfilo Lacson that a quo warranto petition to cancel ABS-CBN’s franchise could result in a “constitutional crisis” if granted by the Supreme Court.
Chief  presidential Legal Counsel and Spokesperson Salvador Panelo, said during a radio interview that Lacson’s fears has no basis at all.
At the same time, Panelo explained that Lacson’s remark that Congress has authority over matters of legislative franchises granted to corporations and public utilities, and that it would be unnecessary for Solicitor General Jose Calida to pursue his reported plan to file a ‘quo warranto’ petition against broadcast network ABS-CBN, also has no basis, whatsoever.
Panelo said that the issuance of a new franchise lies on Congress but it is the job of Solicitor General Calida to file a “quo warranto” petition against the broadcasting network if they committed violations in their franchise.
Reports previously said that Calida is mulling asking the Supreme Court to revoke ABS-CBN’s 25-year franchise through a quo warranto petition. ABS-CBN’s franchise is set to expire in March of this year.
“Wala…paano magkakaroon ng constitutional crisis?” Panelo said.
“Well, with due respect to my good friend Senator Lacson, he’s not a lawyer. Iyung portion na ‘yun medyo siguro i-konsulta nya sa mga abogado nya. Kasi may trabaho ang SolGen na mag file ng mga lumalabag sa batas. Iba ‘yung prangkisa na mangagaling sa Kongreso, iba naman ‘yung nilabag mo ‘yung prangkisa. Dalawang bagay ‘yun. And both can independently be taken together,” he added.
In the same interview, Panelo that the Solicitor General is not in favor of renewing ABS-CBN’s franchise due to previous statements made by President Rodrigo Duterte that Lopez Holding Corp. which is a parent company of ABS-CBN has unpaid tax.
“That’s one of the grounds bakit nagpapayo si SolGen against the franchise ng ABS-CBN for unpaid taxes,” Panelo said.
However, when reminded that ABS-CBN has already made an amicable settlement or compromise agreement with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) base on the record of the judiciary, that could have happened a long time ago.
“Ay siguro not during the time of Mr. President Dutete. Kasi kung nangyari iyan sa mga nakaraan ibig sabihin meron na namang sabwatan diyaan,” he said.
p: wjg