Solicitor General Jose Calida has denied any involvement in the National Telecommunications Commission’s issuance of cease and desist order against ABS-CBN.
In a statement Tuesday, May 19, Calida said he merely warned and cautioned the NTC with regards to issuing a PA to the Kapamilya network.
“Warning or cautioning a client is not threatening. He (Calida) never mentioned the name of Speaker Cayetano and any congressman in his advisory letter to NTC and subsequent press release,” he said in a statement released to the media.
However, ABS-CBN News was able to obtain a copy of the SolGen’s letter to the NTC instructing them to issue CDO instead of provisional authority.
“With an expired franchise and a failure to renew the franchise, the NTC should, instead of entertaining the thought of issuing a PA, with or without hearing, issue a show cause or recall order requiring ABS-CBN Corporation to explain why the broadcasting frequency assigned to it should not be recalled or otherwise forfeited,” said Calida on the April 30 letter to the NTC.
Meanwhile, the Solicitor General also reiterated in Tuesday’s statement that the principle of equity should not apply to ABS-CBN because there is no gap in the law, an opinion countered by the DOJ Secretary who believed principle of equity should be considered because there’s no law that governs public utilities seeking renewal of their franchise but who are unable to secure one without their fault.
“In the letter, the Solicitor General stated that principle of equity cannot be applied because there is no perceivable gap in law as regards the legality of the operations of an entity after its franchise expires,” Calida explained
“Equity is available only in cases where there is an absence of law and not as its replacement. It is described as justice outside legality, which simply means that it cannot supplant although it may, as often happens, supplement the law,” he added.
SolGen Calida was the one responsible for the quo warranto petition against ABS-CBN.
In February 2020, Calida went to the Supreme Court to ask the court to nullify ABS-CBN’s franchise on the ground of foreign ownership violation and offering of pay per view channel KBO.
Calida also asked the high court for a gag order against ABS-CBN employees and talents from speaking about the network’s franchise issue.