OSG files quo-warranto petition vs ABS-CBN before SC

MANILA, Philippines — The Office of the Solicitor-General on Monday filed a quo warranto petition before the Supreme Court seeking the revocation of the legislative franchises of ABS-CBN Corporation and its subsidiary, the ABS-CBN Convergence, Inc.

Government lawyers accused the television network of “unlawfully exercising their legislative franchises.”

Solicitor General Jose Calida led the filing of the quo warranto petition against the broadcast network.

“We want to put an end to what we discovered to be highly abusive practices of ABS-CBN benefitting a greedy few at the expense of millions of its loyal subscribers. These practices have gone unnoticed or were disregarded for years,” Calida said in a statement.

Calida asserted that ABS-CBN has issued Philippine Depositary Receipts to foreigners and that ABS-CBN Convergence, Inc. has resorted to an “ingenious corporate layering scheme” that transfers its franchise without Congressional approval.

“It also failed to publicly offer any of its outstanding capital stock to any securities exchange within the Philippines within five years from the start of its operations, which is an indispensable condition in its franchise,” Calida said.

The OSG also alleged that ABS-CBN has been operating KBO Channel — a pay-per-view channel in ABS-CBN TV Plus “without prior approval or permit from the National Telecommunications Commission.”

ABS-CBN’s franchise is set to expire on March 30.

A bill for the renewal of its franchise has been filed before the Lower House in July 2019.

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