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Is ABS-CBN really at risk of non-renewal of franchise?

punchkidpunchkid bipolar boy PEx Guru 🎖️🎖️
edited July 2019 in Showbiz - General

I think it's better for us to discuss this here as it's not something we should not ignore. Aside from the fact that thousands of employees working with ABS-CBN including their contract artists might lose their jobs, history will also repeat itself considering a bully President of PH Republic is taking this against a media giant simply because they are not in favor of him.

As an avid Kapamilya for the longest time, it is quite disturbing to think of this as ABS-CBN has been providing us pure entertainment for the past 65 years and I just can't imagine our local TV without them.

Okay let's say, franchise renewal will not take place in 2020, what will happen to the network? Will they fully conquer the online media where they are also leading? Will we see recurring shows like Showtime, ASAP, GGV, Ang Probinsyano etc on iWant moving forward? Will this also be a celebration for GMA 7 and even TV5 as it's a chance for them to reign in the local boob tube and pirate a lot of big Kapamilya stars?

Your thoughts?

ABS-CBN: We can't comment on speculations about franchise renewal

MANILA, Philippines — Media and entertainment giant ABS-CBN Corp. said Thursday it cannot comment on speculations surrounding the bill that seeks to renew the company’s legislative franchise that the 17th Congress did not pass before adjourning.

ABS-CBN issued the statement to “clarify” a report by The STAR that the House of Representatives “has frozen” the Lopez-owned broadcasting firm’s franchise bill.

"ABS-CBN is unable to clarify or comment on the article as it is neither the source of the said news article nor is it privy to any claims expressed therein," the company told the Philippine Stock Exchange.

Shares in ABS-CBN fell 4.33% or 80 centavos to close at P17.66 apiece on Thursday, the lowest in 10 years.

ABS-CBN’s franchise expires in 2020.

House Bill 4349, which proposes to extend the media giant’s franchise by another 25 years, had been pending at the committee level since November 2016, The STAR reported on Wednesday.

The STAR added that the House Committee on Legislative Franchises did not submit a report on the franchise bill before the 17th Congress adjourned its third and last regular session on Tuesday.

Pending bills will have to be refiled in the next Congress.

In August last year, President Rodrigo Duterte said he was personally against the renewal of ABS-CBN’s franchise as he accused the media company of swindling him.

Duterte first expressed his opposition to the renewal of ABS-CBN’s franchise on April 27, 2017, which came days after he signed a law extending the franchise of GMA Network Inc. — ABS-CBN’s rival.

In 2017, Duterte hit ABS-CBN and newspaper The Philippine Daily Inquirer for their supposed “unfair” and “slanted” reporting of his administration, adding that “corrupt” media “ails the Philippine society.”

Congress, or the legislature, is a separate branch of government from the Executive branch. 



  • spookfivespookfive PEx Rookie ⭐
    LIVE FROM SUPREME COURT: Solicitor General Jose Calida is filing a quo warranto petition against ABS-CBN   

    MANILA — The Philippine government's top lawyer on Monday asked the Supreme Court to revoke ABS-CBN Corp's franchise, questioning its validity via a "quo warranto" petition.

    Solicitor General Jose Calida accused ABS-CBN of violating provisions of its franchise, which will expire in March. The House of Representatives has yet to hear several bills seeking to renew the company's license to operate.

    The petitions were filed against ABS-CBN Corp and its subsidiary, ABS-CBN Converge.

    A "quo warranto" is a legal procedure that is filed against someone who "usurps, intrudes into, or unlawfully holds or exercises a public office, position or franchise," according to Rule 66 of the Rules of Civil Procedure.

    Calida led the ouster of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno in May 2018 using a "quo warranto," arguing that her failure to fully disclose her wealth when she applied for the post 6 years prior made her appointment invalid.

    BREAKING: PH Solicitor General Jose Calida is in the Supreme Court to file quo warranto petition seeking to revoke franchises of ABS-CBN and its subsidiary, ABS-CBN Convergence.

    View image on Twitter

    President Rodrigo Duterte had repeatedly accused ABS-CBN of refusing to air his campaign ad during the 2016 elections.

    Several rights monitors like Reporters Without Borders and FORUM-Asia earlier urged Philippine lawmakers to renew ABS-CBN's franchise and stand for press freedom. 

  • spookfivespookfive PEx Rookie ⭐

    Solicitor General questions ABS-CBN franchise before Supreme Court

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  • spookfivespookfive PEx Rookie ⭐

    SolGen presses ABS-CBN down    

    With barely two months before ABS-CBN’s franchise expires, Solicitor General (SolGen) Jose Calida on Monday filed a quo warranto petition against the broadcast giant, citing alleged abuses in its license to operate.

    The country’s top lawyer, Calida, filed the very urgent omnibus motion that seeks to nullify the franchise of ABS-CBN and ABS-CBN Convergence Inc. on claims the parent company and its subsidiary are unlawfully exercising the legislative franchise.

    A quo warranto petition is a government action challenging “the usurpation of a public office, position or franchise,” based on Rule 66 of the Rules of Court.

    It may be filed against “a person who usurps, intrudes into, or unlawfully holds or exercises a public office, position or franchise; a public officer who does or suffers an act which, by the provision of law, constitutes a ground for the forfeiture of his office; or an association which acts as a corporation within the Philippines without being legally incorporated or without lawful authority so to act.”

    Calida said the petition was meant to revoke the network’s franchise as he accused ABS-CBN of committing “highly abusive practices benefitting a greedy few at the expense of millions of its loyal subscribers.”

    Foreign ownership

    Likewise, Calida said the media company has foreign ownership, citing the network’s Philippine Depositary Receipts (PDR), similar to what government had accused news website Rappler of last year.

    Calida said ABS-CBN has been hiding behind an elaborately crafted corporate veil and allowing foreign investors to take part in the ownership of a Philippine mass media entity.

    The SolGen said that like Rappler, the network had issued PDR through ABS-CBN Holdings Corporation to foreigners, against foreign ownership restrictions on mass media as stated in the Constitution.

    The act is a gross violation of the foreign interest restriction of mass media provided under Section 11, Article XVI of the Constitution, which states ownership and management of mass media shall be limited to citizens of the Philippines, or to corporations, cooperatives or associations, wholly-owned and managed by such citizens.

    “The Congress shall regulate or prohibit monopolies in commercial mass media when the public interest so requires. No combinations in restraint of trade or unfair competition therein shall be allowed,” the law states.

    Calida said he wants 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.”

    “There’s is no politics (involved) here,” Calida said.

    Malacañang also clarified that it was not a party to Calida’s move, with presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo remarking that the Palace respects press freedom, although he clarified that the legal issue besetting the network is not a matter of media rights being curtailed.

    “It is the job of the Solicitor General to file a petition if there is violation of the law,” Panelo explained. “Congress has the Constitutional authority to grant a franchise. But when you file a petition for a franchise to be withdrawn which has already been granted, it is not depriving Congress. The SolGen may have found a violation, that’s why it was filed.”

    It was Calida who sought the ouster of Maria Lourdes Sereno as Chief Justice, also via quo warranto, in May 2018.

    Panelo also clarified that there was no instruction from President Rodrigo Duterte for the SolGe to file the petition.

    “None that I know off. What I know of the President’s style is, you want to do something in relation to your job, do it. Let the law takes it course,” he said.

    “Now with respect to the President’s feelings to ABS-CBN, you must remember that there is a basis for his expression of displeasure. He was a victim of fraud. And when he expresses that, it falls within the freedom of expression which we cannot deprive a President of, given that all citizens are entitled to it, too,” Panelo shared.

    “But it doesn’t mean nor has anything to do with the petition filed by the Solicitor General because that is the job of the Solicitor General. And if he doesn’t do that then he will be charged of dereliction of duty.”

    “Moreover, let me stress this, its Congress that has the authority to grant or the renew, not the President,” he added.

    Calida alleged the network has been broadcasting for a fee and operating a “pay-per-view channel in ABS-CBN TV Plus, the KBO Channel, without prior approval or permit from the National Telecommunications Commission.”

    He also accused ABS-CBN Convergence Inc. of resorting to ingenious corporate layering scheme to transfer its franchise without the necessary Congressional approval.

    Calida said the network 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.

    The renewal of the franchise of the network giant has been questioned by no less than President Rodrigo Duterte, who threatened to block its renewal.

    Last July, a bill that sought to renew the franchise of the corporation was re-filed before the House of Representatives.

    Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano earlier said the ABS-CBN franchise issue is yet included in the House calendar.

    The company, however, found some allies in the House, with Albay Representative Edcel Lagman calling the petition “unwarranted and misplaced.”

    Lagman explained that the essence of a quo warranto petition is only applicable if the respondent lacks the entitlement of a public office, position or franchise in the first place, but which he said ABS-CBN has.

    “In the case of ABS-CBN, it has a valid congressional franchise, it is even subject to renewal,” Lagman said.

    He also said that the violation of any valid franchise should be judicially established in a separate action and not in a quo warranto proceeding.

    Lagman also said that the venue for the petition should’ve been in a proper Regional Trial Court where a trial of facts is conducted.

    “Since the Supreme Court is not a trier of facts and the subject quo warranto petition involves factual questions on the alleged violations, the venue of the petition must be the proper Regional Trial Court,” Lagman stated.

    The Senate, meanwhile, is supportive of granting the network’s renewal of franchise, but Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri said the grant should still emanate from the House.

    “It’s beyond our control. It is in the hands of Congress. If the House deems that the franchise is necessary or if the franchise is approved, then here in the Senate, we commit that we will have a quick process as well,” Zubiri told reporters.

    He explained that the Senate is a separate institution from the House and the Senators cannot assert authority over the lower chamber.

    “Unfortunately, it emanates from the House of Representatives under the Constitution for all legislative franchises. (It has) to be passed first by the House of Representatives before (being) tackled by the Senate,” Zubiri said.

    “We can do nothing until that it was sent to us. It will be referred to the Committee on Public Services,” he added.

    The company, meanwhile, called Calida’s claims as without merit. Its lawyers said ABS-CBN complies with all pertinent laws governing its franchise and has secured all necessary government and regulatory approvals for its business operations.

    In a statement, ABS-CBN lawyers averred that the company’s broadcast offerings, including KBO, have received the necessary government and regulatory approvals and are not prohibited by our franchise.

    They also said that ABS-CBN Holdings’ PDR were evaluated and approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Philippine Stock Exchange prior to public offering. These are the same instruments used by other broadcast companies to raise capital for the improvement of services.

    The ownership of ABS-CBN in ABS-CBN Convergence, the network said, was undertaken under the same law and structures that have been utilized by other telecommunications companies. These are transfers that are approved under the Public Telecommunications Policy Act and are fully compliant with law.

    ABS-CBN also claimed that the Senate, the House of Representatives, and the Executive Branch have assured the public that its franchise will be allowed to go through the proper renewal process in a fair manner.

    It called the filing of the quo warranto case is ill-timed given that Congress has already resumed its session.

    Meanwhile, University of Santo Tomas College of Law Dean Nilo Divina said the warrant filed by Calida may raise suspicions in terms of timing, but it is within bounds of the Constitution.
    “The timing may be suspect but the ground is valid,” Divina said.

    “However, because the issues involve factual determination, it is not farfetched to surmise that the SC may remand this case to the Court of Appeals,” he added.

    The grounds relied upon by Calida is constitutional and the filed quo warranto may lie should ABS-CBN really allowed foreign stakeholders to take hold of its management, he said.

  • LatoyaManagementLatoyaManagement Mrs. Tonette Gaur PEx Icon 🎖️🎖️🎖️

    fck you dutae and calida parehong panget na ugali at mukha

  • LatoyaManagementLatoyaManagement Mrs. Tonette Gaur PEx Icon 🎖️🎖️🎖️
    i have a feeling eepal naman si bong GhAGO and rescue kuno ang abscbn for its shutdown 
    i stand with abscbn no to its shutdown
    ipakita natin galit natin mga kapamilya sugod tayo sa edsa this feb sa people power celebration
    for sure after a week may survey ulit with  increase ng 95 approval ratings lol
  • CoryKongCoryKong PEx Rookie ⭐
     I will just post my photocomments that will make you see the evil nature of Duterte.
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