Both Houses of Congress on Monday were quick to respond to Solicitor-General Jose Calida’s move in filing the revocation of the franchises of ABS-CBN and its subsidiary at the Supreme Court.
During a press briefing of Rep. Joey Salcedo, one of the authors of House Bill 676 seeking for the renewal of another 25 years of franchise for the said network giant, he mentioned that the Solicitor-General’s move made them looked like kindergarten; “ginagawa kaming kindergarten sa pagfile ng kasong ito kasi it is an exuberant intervention into the duty of Congress as stated in the Constitution.”
Salcedo added that with this move, they are now considering inviting Solicitor General Calida as one of the resource persons for the consideration of their bill.
Bayan Muna, a known critic of the Duterte administration insists that the Office of the Solicitor General is being used by President Rodrigo Duterte to carry out his vendetta against ABS-CBN.
In a statement, Bayan Muna Chairman Neri Colmenares said that “the OSG should not allow itself to become a private law firm due to its loyalties to a temporary president.”
Colmenares further said that the OSG has “devoted so much time to those President Duterte consider his enemies… but has refused to devote any effort against Duterte allies like Gen. Albayalde or those involved in corruption or diverting public funds to pork barrel.”
Meanwhile at the Senate, Sen. Grace Poe who heads the Senate Committee on Public Services insisted that they will continue to discuss the issue of the renewal of the network’s franchise amid the latest move of the Solicitor-General.
Poe said that as dictated by the Constitution, the “Senate’s jurisdiction over franchises remains despite the existence of the petition.”
On Monday, Calida filed a quo warranto petition against ABS-CBN and its subsidiary ABS-CBN Convergence Inc., for “highly abusive practices” and violation of the Constitution.
ABS-CBN’s franchise is bound to end next month.