By Prince Golez
As far as Malacañang is concerned, the Office of Solicitor General (OSG) was just doing its job in in filing a quo warranto petition against ABS-CBN for the revocation of its legislative franchise.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo cited Rule 66 of the Rules of Court that the OSG can file a special civil action of quo warranto against an abusive franchise holder.
“One cannot blame Solicitor General Calida for simply performing this legal obligation, as directed of him by the Rules of Court,” said Panelo, who also serves as chief legal counsel of President Rodrigo Duterte.
“Opting not to pursue the petition despite a reasonable belief that one has violated its franchise would, on the other hand, be equivalent to nonfeasance, thereby exposing the Solicitor General to prosecution for dereliction of duty,” he added.
Meanwhile, Duterte’s mouthpiece maintained that it is still Congress that has the constitutional authority to grant or deny a franchise.
“Causing the forfeiture of a franchise is different from not granting a franchise. The former is exercised by the OSG in accordance with its legal mandate, while the latter is undertaken by Congress pursuant to its legislative powers,” according to him.
“It is for this reason that members of the Congress need not fret as there is no encroachment upon their authority as a result of the recent undertaking by the OSG,” he concluded.