Duterte's threats vs ABS-CBN unrelated to SolGen quo warranto bid: Palace

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 10 2020 10:48 AM

President Rodrigo Duterte. File

MANILA- President Rodrigo Duterte's verbal attacks against ABS-CBN Corp. is unrelated to the quo warranto petition of the government's top lawyer to invalidate the franchise of the media conglomerate, Malacañang said Monday.

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo distanced Duterte from Solicitor General Jose Calida's filing of "quo warranto" petitions on Monday, which accused ABS-CBN of violating provisions of its franchise.

"Alam mo, trabaho ng Solicitor General na maghain ng anumang petisyon pagka mayroong paglabag sa batas," Panelo, also the President's chief legal counsel, told radio DZMM.

(It's the job of the solicitor general to file a petition whenever there is a violation of the law.)

"Ang Pangulo hindi nakikialam sa trabaho ng mga heads of departments and offices. Palagi niyang sinasabi 'let the law take its course,'" he added.

(The President does not meddle with the job of the heads of the departments and offices. He always says to 'let the law take its course.')

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Duterte has criticized ABS-CBN for allegedly not airing a campaign ad that he paid for before the 2016 presidential election. Last December, the President even urged the owners of ABS-CBN to just sell the company.

"We cannot deprive the President as a citizen of this country to express himself. Walang kaugnayan itong petisyon ni SolGen (The petition of the SolGen is unrelated)," Panelo said.

Congress has yet to act on several bills seeking a 25-year franchise renewal for ABS-CBN which will expire in March. ABS-CBN operates free TV Channel 2 and radio DZMM.

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