ABS-CBN has the option to apply for a new franchise should the Supreme Court grant the Office of the Solicitor General’s petition to forfeit the current license of the broadcast network, Malacañang said on Thursday.
Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said there is no prohibition for ABS-CBN to seek a new franchise. Bills seeking to extend ABS-CBN’s franchise are still pending in Congress.
“Kaya nga may application sila for renewal. That’s the whole point,” he told reporters.
On Monday, the OSG asked the SC through a quo warranto petition to forfeit ABS-CBN’s franchise over alleged violations, an action denounced by the network, several media groups and journalism schools.
In its petition, the OSG claimed that the network had been operating a pay-per-view channel without the necessary permit from the government and that it issued Philippine Depositary Receipts to foreigners.
ABS-CBN, whose franchise expires on March 30, said it did not violate the law.
However, Panelo said the OSG was only doing its job to file an action in court if it believes that there is a violation of any law.
“If he does not, then he opens himself to criminal prosecution – of dereliction of duty. He cannot close his eyes,” he said in a separate interview on ANC.
“He cannot close his eyes to any violation regardless of the time because it is only now that he discovered that there has been a violation by the ABS-CBN. And let the court decide whether or not he’s correct on that.” —LDF, GMA News