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Senator Panfilo Lacson warns of potential constitutional crisis if Supreme Court approves quo warranto vs ABS-CBN

Under Republic Act No. 3846, media companies broadcasting via free TV and radio are mandated to secure a franchise from the government before they can operate.

  • Sen. Lascon said quo warranto vs ABS-CBN may cause a constitutional crisis.
  • OSG is planning to file quo warranto petition against ABS-CBN.

Senator Panfilo Lacson said the Office of the Solicitor General’s quo warranto petition against ABS-CBN may end up in a constitutional crisis.

In a radio interview Saturday, January 18, Lacson said OSG’s move is “superfluous” because the grant of a legislative franchise to a media company is under Congress.

“Ang renewal ng franchise, ayon sa Constitution, nasa Kongreso yan. Kami ang magde-deliberate, at ang mag-a-approve niyan, Pangulo. I think parang superfluous ang mag-quo warranto pa para pigilan ang pag-renew ng franchise, kasi power ng Congress ‘yan,” he said.

“Kami ang dapat masusunod kung mare-renew ba ng another 25 years ang media outfit…So I think medyo duplicitous ang move para pigilan, kasi hindi talaga kayang pigilan ang Kongreso,” Lacson added.

Under Republic Act No. 3846, media companies broadcasting via free TV and radio are mandated to secure a franchise from the government before they can operate.

Meanwhile, the senator believed the Supreme Court will not encroach Congress’ authority in the issue of ABS-CBN.

“Baka magkaroon tayo ng constitutional crisis. Kasi halimbawa, kung mag-grant ang SC ng quo warranto at kasalukuyang nagsasagawa kami ng plenary deliberation sa renewal ng franchise ng ABS-CBN, ano ang mananaig doon? Of course sabi nila, pag sinabi ng SC ganito, it becomes part of the law of the land, pero Constitution itong pinag-uusapan natin. ‘Di pwedeng sabihin ng SC na unconstitutional ang ginagawang deliberation ng Congress sa pag-renew ng franchise kasi maliwanag sa Constitution na sa amin ‘yan,” he explained.

The OSG has been reportedly planning to file a quo warranto petition against ABS-CBN in the Supreme Court.

ABS-CBN’s franchise is set to expire in March 2020.

Currently, there are already 9 bills filed by 11 lawmakers seeking to renew the Kapamilya network’s franchise.



ABS-CBN’s franchise has been stalled in Congress since 2016 because of President Rodrigo Duterte’s repeated accusations against the network for not airing his campaign ads.

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