Go: Duterte has 'nothing to do' with Calida's quo warranto plea vs ABS-CBN

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 11 2020 06:44 PM

MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte has "nothing to do" with the Solicitor General Jose Calida's petition challenging the validity of ABS-CBN Corp's franchise before the Supreme Court, Sen. Christopher "Bong" Go said Tuesday.

The government's top lawyer earlier filed a quo warranto petition against ABS-CBN, saying the franchise should not have been granted in the first place after the Philippines' largest broadcast network allegedly sold shares to foreigners, which is banned under the Constitution.

"Si Calida, may sariling pag-iisip 'yan (Calida has his own mind) and the President has nothing to do with the quo warranto," Go, the president's former aide, told reporters.

Duterte has repeatedly criticized ABS-CBN and said he would move for its shut down after the broadcast network allegedly refused to air some of his campaign advertisements in 2016 and has alleged tax deficiencies.

In response to Calida's petition, ABS-CBN said it "did not violate any law," and that it has been operating for 65 years "in service of the Filipino."

Earlier, Malacañang also denied that Duterte sanctioned Calida's move against ABS-CBN, saying the quo warranto case "had nothing to do with his expressions of displeasure."

"He did not say anything. He does not interrupt with the work of his officials," Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo earlier told ANC's Dateline Philippines.

Calida also used the quo warranto route in 2018 to oust Maria Lourdes Sereno, an administration critic, as Chief Justice.