ABS-CBN, sa Supreme Court kayo magpaliwanag

The filing of a quo warranto case against ABS-CBN by the Office of the Solicitor General, while it may have been telegraphed as a punch, still caught the media giant like a left hook it didn’t see.

About a month ago, Solicitor General Jose Calida announced his Office was drafting a complaint for quo warranto against ABS-CBN, but the reaction was rather muffled. Apparently, ABS-CBN couldn’t understand where Calida was coming from.

Bakit quo warranto?

This is a seldom-used remedy by the state, and almost never in a case like that of ABS-CBN involving legislative franchises.

The last time it was used was to unseat then Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno. That, too, was unexpected. The usual route for removing a Chief Justice is through impeachment, which the Aquino administration took against the late Renato Corona.

Everybody was expecting that the move to strip ABS-CBN of its legislative franchise that expires on March 30, 2020 would be done through the House of Representatives. The application of the media giant for renewal is now pending before the Lower House.

But Calida has shown a deeper grasp of the law and a thorough understanding of the facts. The OSG must have researched into the corporate papers of ABS-CBN so deeply that its innermost secrets were ferreted out.

It’s hard to pin down a media giant like ABS-CBN. Calida must have taken inspiration from the Federal agent Elliot Ness who got the Mafiosi boss Al Capone convicted of tax evasion in the 1930s.

And on Monday, Calida went to the Supreme Court to file a petition for Quo Warranto, alleging violations of the legislative franchise granted to ABS-CBN and the prohibition against foreign ownership of media organizations.

This is going to be an interesting legal battle.

About Manuel "Boy" Mejorada
Manuel "Boy" Mejorada is a journalist and social media activist. A former Iloilo provincial administrator, he is now waging a crusade against corruption and narco-politics.

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