Poe: Senate inquiry into ABS-CBN compliance to franchise terms does not preclude any action in House, SC

(Eagle News)–A Senate inquiry into ABS-CBN’S compliance to its franchise terms does not preclude any action in the House of Representatives or in the Supreme Court on the matter.

This is according to Senator Grace Poe, chair of the Senate committee on public services  who filed Resolution No. 322 calling for the probe.

This was after Solicitor General Jose Calida alleged in a quo warranto petition filed before the Supreme Court that the network had violated the terms of its franchise when it offered pay-per-view services in what was supposed to be a free-to-air frequency.

In the petition, Calida also said the  network violated the constitutional restriction on the foreign ownership of mass media when it issued Philippine Depositary Receipts to foreign investors.

ABS-CBN has denied the allegations.

According to Poe, the inquiry was just “part of the Senate’s oversight function over any franchise and not just ABS-CBN, as mandated by the Constitution and the Senate Rules.”

“Due to the gravity of the allegations and its possible effects, the Committee has deemed it appropriate to lay the groundwork for a possible inquiry in the spirit of public interest,” she said.

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon threw his support behind Poe’s resolution.

He, however, said it was only Congress, and not the SC, that has jurisdiction over any review of compliance to franchise terms.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra has said the quo warranto petition was independent of the franchise renewal process.