ABS-CBN given 10 days to comment on quo warranto petition
President Rodrigo Duterte talks with Solicitor General General Jose Calida during a post-Cabinet meeting in Malacañan’s State Dining Room on August 22, 2016
Presidential photo/Toto Lozano, File photo
ABS-CBN given 10 days to comment on quo warranto petition
Franco Luna (Philstar.com) - February 11, 2020 - 1:09pm

MANILA, Philippines —  Broadcast giant ABS-CBN Corporation and ABS-CBN Convergence have only ten days to comment on the quo warranto petition filed against them by government lawyers, Supreme Court spokesperson Brian Hosaka confirmed Tuesday morning. 

On Tuesday's en banc session, the High Court required the respondents to file their comment to the said petition for quo warranto within a non-extendible period of 10 days from receipt of notice, Hosaka told reporters. No other order was issued by the court. 

A quo warranto subjects a party, entity or respondent to disclose which warrant an office or franchise operates on.

Solicitor General Calida accused the network of “unlawfully exercising their legislative franchises under Republic Act No. 7966 and Republic Act No. 8332” the day before on Monday as he filed the petition that sought to suspend the network's Kapamilya Box Office (KBO) channel just over a month removed from the slated expiration date of its legislative franchise. 

In a statement released later that same day, the media corporation asserted that the channel in question was compliant with all government regulations and that the allegations held against them were all "without merit."

READ: 'We did not violate the law': ABS-CBN says Calida allegations have no merit

"The comment likewise pertains to the prayer of the Solicitor General for the issuance of a [temporary restraining order] or writ of preliminary injunction to enjoin ABS-CBN Corporation from further operating the KBO Channel and offering it to the public," Hosaka clarified.

"The action of the court right now is to require the respondents to comment on the petition for Quo Warranto which includes a prayer for issuance of a TRO and Writ of Preliminary Injunction."

This means that no TRO will be issued as of now. 

Mass outrage was spawned by the petition on numerous fronts, from media groups, academic institutions, lawmakers and labor unions alike, all claiming that the petition was a politically-motivated move focused on attacking press freedom and the fundamental right to dissent. As of this writing, the hashtag #IStandWithABSCBN has gone trending on social media. 

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