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LOOK: Protest vs Calida's quo warranto against ABS-CBN

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 11 2020 04:38 AM | Updated as of Feb 11 2020 10:00 AM

For the fifth week in a row, supporters of free media gathered together to show their support for ABS-CBN Corp. the same day Solicitor General Jose Calida sought to shut down the country's largest broadcast network by using a quo warranto petition.

On Monday evening, members of the media, ABS-CBN employees, and supporters gathered at the Scout Circle in Quezon City to call for the renewal of the network’s franchise which expires on March 30.

Calida has asked the Supreme Court to invalidate the media conglomerate’s franchise and seek its closure via quo warranto.

Malacañang washed its hands of the SolGen’s actions saying that the SolGen has the mandate to file a case against what he perceives to be lawbreakers. 

Here are some scenes from the protest:

Supporters of ABS-CBN gather at the Scout Circle on Monday as they urge the Supreme Court to junk the quo warranto filed by the Solicitor General against the network. Basilio H. Sepe, ABS-CBN News

The petition comes even as Congress has failed to tackle the network's franchise renewal application. Gigie Cruz, ABS-CBN News

As the end of the network's current franchise nears, some lawmakers have called on their colleagues to tackle the franchise renewal. Gigie Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Members of various media groups, including ABS-CBN employees and supporters, hold a protest at the Boy Scout Circle in Quezon City to denounce the quo warranto petition against the media network filed earlier by the Office of the Solicitor General. Fernando G. Sepe Jr., ABS-CBN News

Supporters sign a petition calling on Congress to tackle the franchise renewal. Gigie Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Supporters say that the threats to ABS-CBN's closure is an attack on press freedom. Maria Tan, ABS-CBN News

Aside from the threat to press freedom, the network's closure will affect the livelihood of some 11,000 employees. Rolex Dela Pena, EPA-EFE

A sign about press freedom is displayed during a protest against moves to shutdown ABS-CBN network, in Quezon City. Rolex Dela Pena, EPA-EFE

Some lawmakers say that the Office of the Solicitor General is usurping the authority of Congress to grant franchises. Basilio H. Sepe, ABS-CBN News

Several journalists and supporters denounce the move of the SolGen as they hailed the network's efforts in nation building. Maria Tan, ABS-CBN News

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Monday said that the SolGen's case is separate from the legislative process of granting its renewal. Maria Tan, ABS-CBN News

The Supreme Court might ask the Office of the Solicitor General to avail of administrative remedies before hearing its quo warranto petition, said Atty. Marichu Lambino, media law and ethics expert at the UP College of Mass Communication. Basilio H. Sepe, ABS-CBN News

On the other hand, the Supreme Court may also prioritize the case, according to Atty. Soledad Mawis, dean of Lyceum of the Philippines' College of Law. Congress, however, has the "sole power" to decide on the renewal of the network's franchise she said. Basilio H. Sepe, ABS-CBN News

According to UP College of Mass Communications Associate Dean Rachel Khan, "The timing is really bad. Also it’s one of the continuing attacks against media in general. That’s the worrying thing about this." Fernando G. Sepe Jr., ABS-CBN News

According to Deputy House Speaker Johnny Pimentel, the media outlet's alleged violations "should be tackled during the hearing" of its franchise renewal by Congress. Basilio H. Sepe, ABS-CBN News

"The quo warranto has preempted the actions of Congress," Pimentel said. Gigie Cruz, ABS-CBN News

The SolGen's quo warranto petition is a "direct attack"on the media, according to National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) former director Nonoy Espina. Fernando G. Sepe Jr., ABS-CBN News

Espina added that ABS-CBN is a “major source" of information that the public needs " to decide their future". Fernando G. Sepe, ABS-CBN News

A man puts up the protest on Facebook Live. Gigie Cruz, ABS-CBN News

ABS-CBN has denied violating any laws. Gigie Cruz, ABS-CBN News

They say that the filing of the petition seems to be "an effort to shut down ABS-CBN to the serious prejudice of millions of Filipinos who rely on the network for news, entertainment and public service". Maria Tan, ABS-CBN News

ABS-CBN adds "The Senate, the House of Representatives, and the Executive Branch have assured the public that our franchise will be allowed to go through the proper renewal process in a fair manner. To that end, the filing of the quo warranto case is ill-timed given that Congress has already resumed its session.” Maria Tan, ABS-CBN News

Supporters of ABS-CBN, the country's top broadcast network, hold a rally against the Philippine government's move to scrap its franchise. Eloisa Lopez, Reuters