Opposition lawmakers on Wednesday welcomed the Supreme Court’s dismissal of the quo warranto petition filed by Solicitor General Jose Calida against ABS-CBN Corp.
At the same time, the Makabayan bloc in the House of Representatives backed the appeal of Buhay Rep. Lito Atienza for the congressional hearings on the franchise renewal of the media giant to be terminated and put to a vote in plenary.
“We welcome this decision of the Supreme Court. We hope Congress will take this as a cue to fast-track the resolution of the bills seeking the renewal of franchise to operate of ABS-CBN,” Zarate said, adding that he believes the House committees on legislative franchises, and good government and public accountability have already conducted extensive hearings on the matter.
Given this, Zarate said he sees no reason for Congress to deny the ABS-CBN a franchise to operate.
Reps. France Castro of ACT-Teachers and Arlene Brosas of Gabriela shared similar views.
“The black magic of the solicitor general did not work with the Supreme Court’s decision to dismiss the quo warranto petition that Solicitor General Jose Calida filed against ABS-CBN Corporation,” said Castro.
Castro said she believes the radio-broadcasting network did not violate any law that would warrant a denial of a fresh 25-year franchise to operate.
Rep. Arlene Brosas of the Gabriela Women’s Party said the dismissal of the quo warranto petition should signal Congress to finally vote on pending bills calling for the renewal the ABS-CBN franchise. “We urge our fellow lawmakers to heed the call of the Filipino people to renew the ABS-CBN franchise,” she said.
ABS-CBN Corp. was ordered to stop operations after its legislative franchise expired on May 4.