ABS-CBN slams Calida: We did not violate the law
MANILA, Philippines – Embattled TV network giant ABS-CBN slammed the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) for filing a quo warranto petition and called it a “serious prejudice of millions of Filipinos who rely on the network for news, entertainment and public service.”
“We reiterate that everything we do is in accordance with the law. We did not violate the law. This case appears to be an attempt to deprive Filipinos of the services of ABS-CBN,” the Lopez-led network said. (READ: Timeline: Duterte against ABS-CBN's franchise renewal)
Solicitor General Jose Calida pushed legal boundaries on Monday, February 10, and filed a quo warranto petition before the Supreme Court to nullify the franchises of ABS-CBN and ABS-CBN Convergence and accused the network of the following:
- Violating foreign ownership restrictions of the constitution through the use of Philippine Deposit Receipts or PDRs “like Rappler.”
- Engaging in “highly abusive practices benefitting a greedy few at the expense of millions of its loyal subscribers”
- Launching products ABS-CBN TV Plus, KBO Channel, allegedly without the necessary permits
In a statement, ABS-CBN said that its PDRs were evaluated and approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission, as well as the Philippine Stock Exchange. (READ: Misconceptions on PDRs)
“These are the same instruments used by other broadcast companies to raise capital for the improvement of services,” ABS-CBN said.
“The capital we have raised from the PDRs has enabled us to provide services to nearly 90% of the Philippines and to our OFW’s all over the world.”
The network also insisted that its broadcast offerings like KBO received necessary government and regulatory approvals and are not prohibited by the franchise.
ABS-CBN also defended its ownership of ABS-CBN Convergence, saying that it was undertaken under the same law and structures that have been utilized by other telecommunications companies.
"The Senate, the House of Representatives, and the Executive Branch have assured the public that our franchise will be allowed to go through the proper renewal process in a fair manner. To that end, the filing of the quo warranto case is ill-timed given that Congress has already resumed its session," ABS-CBN said. – Rappler.com