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Supreme Court junks quo warranto petition vs. ABS-CBN for mootness

The Supreme Court (SC) has dismissed Solicitor General Jose Calida's quo warranto petition against ABS-CBN.

Two sources confirmed Tuesday that the court had dismissed the petition for mootness, as ABS-CBN's franchise already expired last May 4, but they said the case against ABS-CBN Convergence remains.

SC spokesman Brian Keith Hosaka later confirmed the development.

ABS-CBN reported, however, that ABS-CBN Convergence's franchise already expired last March 17.

Asked why the case against ABS-CBN Convergence is still pending, Hosaka advised waiting for the court's resolution.

Malacañang said it respects the decision of the high court.

“We leave it to the Solicitor-General as the petitioner to decide on his next legal steps,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said.

“Meanwhile on the issue of renewal of ABS-CBN franchise, we consider this a prerogative of Congress, which is presently deliberating on the matter.”

In the quo warranto case, Calida accused ABS-CBN of "highly abusive practices" over its operation of a pay-per-view channel in ABS-CBN TV Plus allegedly without approval from the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) and its alleged issuance of the Philippine Depositary Receipts to foreigners. 

Calida sought the forfeiture of ABS-CBN's then-existing franchise.

The case is separate from the petition filed by ABS-CBN questioning the cease and desist order from the NTC that forced it to shut down the broadcast operations of several of its radio and television stations.

ABS-CBN's petition, which also asks for a temporary restraining order against the cease and desist order, is still pending. Court deliberations on the case will resume in July. 

GMA News Online has sought comment from the Office of the Solicitor General. —with Virgil Lopez/KBK/KG, GMA News