MANILA – The Supreme Court (SC) has reset to next month the deliberation on the petition filed by ABS-CBN Corp. questioning the government’s order to halt its broadcast operations.
In a media statement on Tuesday, SC spokesperson Brian Keith Hosaka said Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta has confirmed that the petition “will be called again for deliberation by the SC en banc on August 4.”
In a 70-11 vote on July 10, the House of Representatives Committee on Legislative Franchises denied the application for a legislative franchise of the Lopez-owned broadcast network.
Previous House hearings have exhaustively discussed the network’s franchise issues, including the citizenship of ABS-CBN chair emeritus Gabby Lopez; the possible violation of the constitutional limits on foreign ownership; reported labor and tax violations; and other violations on the terms of its legislative franchise.
Last June, the SC dismissed a petition filed by Solicitor General Jose Calida in February, which had sought to terminate the franchise of the firm after the court ruled that his quo warranto suit had been mooted by the expiry of the broadcast firm’s franchise last May.
Calida, in opposing ABS CBN’s continued operation, claims that the firm illegally acquired smaller corporations that have legislative franchises over frequencies and used investment schemes to circumvent the constitutional restriction on foreign ownership of mass media entities.
ABS-CBN stopped its television and radio broadcasts on May 5 after the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) issued a cease and desist order following the expiration of the network’s 25-year legislative franchise on May 4.
On June 30, the NTC issued another cease and desist order directing the media network to stop operating its digital television transmission using Amcara Broadcasting Corp.’s Channel 43.
The order affected programs aired on ABS-CBN’s TVPlus offerings, which include Cine Mo!, Yey!, DZMM Teleradyo, Jeepney TV, Asianovela Channel, and its pay-per-view channel KBO. (PNA)