Executive branch should not “hijack” Congress mandate on franchises - Hontiveros

Executive branch should not “hijack” Congress mandate on franchises - Hontiveros

Opposition senator Risa Hontiveros calls out Malacanang in its latest act of filing a quo warranto proceeding against ABS-CBN calling for its legislative franchise cancelation.

She said the Executive branch should not “hijack” the mandate of the Congress to act on legislative franchises, the petition filed before the High Court may set forth a “dangerous” implications on the constitutionally protected right on press freedom.

The Solicitor general explains that the petition was filed in the Supreme Court in order to stop the supposed “abusive practices” of ABS-CBN.

Opposition senator Rissa Hontiveros
(photo credit to owner)

“Here in the Senate or in the whole of Congress, there are still a lot of advocates of press freedom, and we will not give up that mandate, that responsibility to hear and decide on the issue of franchises in mass media,” Hontiveros said

“Whether or not ABS-CBN violated the terms of their franchise, the right body to tackle this is Congress and the executive should not try to hijack this through the judiciary,” she added.

Hontiveros believes that SolGen is granting the wish of President Duterte in putting to stop on the operations of the TV giant network.

“Well, the President has been vocal — threatening, warning ABS-CBN that their franchise will not be renewed. So it’s not hard to think that, because the solicitor general is the legal counsel of the government and the Office of the President, that he may just be granting the wish of the President,” she said.

The opposition senator emphasizes the importance of press freedom on the survival of the country’s “very challenged” democracy.

“The filing of the Office of the Solicitor General of a quo warranto petition against ABS-CBN really has dangerous implications. We know that in any democracy, in a modern democracy, a free press is not our enemy,” Hontiveros said.

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Report from PDI

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