Quo warranto case vs ABS-CBN improper — exCJ Panganiban

Quo warranto case vs ABS-CBN improper — exCJ Panganiban

Legal luminaries in the country are all being sought about their opinion/stand as regards what is happening to ABS-CBN, and everyone is giving them for the sake of conversation and not to break the time honored rule “sub judice” of the Supreme Court.

The latest to join the conversation is retired chief justice Artemio Panganiban and he is of the opinion that the petition filed against the tv network by the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) was improper and that there were other remedies available to the network.

Panganiban reiterates that Congress has the power to review the franchise renewal, but not the high court via a quo warranto proceeding.

former chief justice Artemio Panganiban
(photo credit to owner)

“Congress can say we will revoke your franchise because you violated the terms of franchise. The revocation must be the violation of the terms and conditions because the franchise has certain conditions,” he said in an exclusive interview with ABS-CBN.

The former chief justice points out that under the exhaustion of administrative remedies rule, complaints against ABS-CBN could be filed before the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in cases of questionable Philippine Depositary Receipts(PDRs) and at the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) if there were violations on its use of airwaves.
Panganiban is of the opinion that there are issues better resolved in the lower courts and not outright in the High Court.

He said the Supreme Court had already ruled that factual issues must be resolved by a lower court or by the proper administrative agencies.

“There are many issues of facts, which were brought up which cannot be decided without first being resolved, and the Supreme Court has said many times…the latest of which is in Gios Samar vs DoTC (Department of Transportation and Communication), where the court expressly said that when there are issues of facts the court cannot take them up and must dismiss the case even if the reason for them is transcendental importance,” Panganiban stressed.
The former chief justice differentiates the two cases wherein the OSG filed a quo warranto petition:

The quo warranto petition filed against former chief justice Maria Lourdes Sereno is different from quo warranto filed by Solicitor General Jose Calida with respect to ABS-CBN.
The former case involves the violations before Sereno became a magistrate of the high court until she became chief justice because of her non-filing of her Statements of Assets Liabilities and Net Worth, while the ABS-CBN case involves alleged violations committed after the franchise was given to the company.

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Report from Manila Times

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