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Tinuluyan na! Calida runs to SC to revoke ABS-CBN’s franchise

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Solicitor General Jose Calida wants the Supreme Court to revoke ABS-CBN’s franchise, barely a month before it expires.

Calida on Monday (February 10) filed a quo warranto petition against ABS-CBN and its subsidiary, ABS-CBN Convergence Inc.

In its petition, the Solicitor General said ABS-CBN violated the conditions of its franchise by broadcasting for a fee and allowing foreign investors to own part of the company through the issuance of Philippine Depositary Receipts (PDRs).

Calida said the supposed foreign ownership of ABS-CBN violates the constitutional ban on foreigners owning media entities.

ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal bid is in limbo as the legislative franchises committee of the House of Representatives has yet to schedule a hearing on bills regarding the matter.

The network’s franchise will expire on March 30, 2020.

In a statement, Calida said ABS-CBN “abused the privilege given by the State when it launched and operateda pay-per-view channel in ABS-CBN TV Plus, the KBO channel, without prior approval or permit from the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC).”

He also claimed ABS-CBN Convergence Inc., formerly Multimedia Telephony, “resorted to an ingenious corporate layering scheme” to transfer its franchise without seeking congressional approval.

Calida said the ABS-CBN subsidiary also failed to publicly offer any of its outstanding capital stock to any securities exchange in the Philippines within five years of its operations, which is a violation of its franchise.

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