MANILA — Solicitor General Jose Calida has filed a Very Urgent Motion for the Issuance of Gag Order before the Supreme Court.
The motion intends to bar parties and “persons acting on their behalf” from issuing statements over the pending quo warranto petition the Office of the Solicitor General filed against against ABS-CBN’s franchise last Monday, 10 February 2020.
In filing the gag order, the OSG accused the network giant of massive “propaganda in (a) clear attempt to elicit public sympathy, sway public opinion, and, ultimately to influence the resolution of the case.”
On cases like, the SG explained that “there is a sub judice rule which is defined by jurisprudence as a rule that restricts comments and disclosures pertaining to judicial proceedings to avoid prejudging the issue, influencing the court, or obstructing the administration of justice.”
The OSG further said: “Any person who violates this rule may render him or her liable for indirect contempt.”
ABS-CBN’s legislative franchise ends on March 30 but because it has already filed at least 11 franchise renewal resolutions in Congress, some lawmakers aver it can still operate until after the 18th Congress ends in 2022.
However, citing several violations made by the network, Calida filed a quo warranto petition asking the SC to revoke its franchise on March 30.
Calida’s quo warranto petition with the SC accuses ABS-CBN for allowing foreign ownership of the media company allegedly similar to Rappler which is also facing a SEC shutdown order because of its Philippine Depositary Receipts (PDRs).
An explainer by Rappler said: “PDRs are financial instruments used by media entities to allow foreign investments without violating the constitutional rule that media companies should be 100% Filipino-owned. PDRs are a common, lawful practice, and their legality has been upheld by the SC.” (iam/sovereignph.com)