Solicitor General Jose Calida once again went to the Supreme Court to file an urgent motion to issue a gag order against ABS-CBN and its representatives.
On Tuesday, February 18, Calida asked the Supreme Court to issue an order banning ABS-CBN and persons acting on their behalf from releasing statements on the merits of his quo warranto petition against the Kapamilya network’s existing franchise.
According to Calida, statements coming from ABS-CBN are violative of the sub judice rule, which prohibits anyone from publicly assessing an ongoing case to avoid pre-judgment.
“Verily, inasmuch as ABS-CBN unquestionably directed its statements on the merits of the quo warranto case to influence the public and members of this Honorable Court, this Honorable Court must issue an order prohibiting the parties and persons acting on their behalf from releasing any statements discussing the merits of the subject petition,” said Calida on his petition.
Calida’s gag order petition came off the heels of several materials released by ABS-CBN defending their stand against the quo warranto.
The Solicitor General cited the video released on February 14 entitled “Quo warranto petition laban sa ABS-CBN, ano ang ibig sabihin?” wherein ABS-CBN anchor Christian Esguerra discussed the issues raised on the petition.
For Calida that is a “clear attempt to elicit public sympathy, sway public opinion, and, ultimately, to influence the resolution of the case.”
Meanwhile, Supreme Court spokesman Brian Keith Hosaka said both ABS-CBN Corporation and ABS-CBN Convergence, Inc. were given up to five days from the receipt of the new petition to submit their response to Calida’s gag order request. He also clarified that the gag order once approved by the SC en banc would also cover Calida and the Office of the Solicitor General.
Hosaka added that the gag order will not cover the Senators who are set to conduct an inquiry into supposed violations committed by ABS-CBN.