During last week’s hearing on the ABS-CBN franchise, the media network’s main opposition Solicitor General Jose Calida was absent from the proceedings.
In his letter to Legislative Franchises Committee Chair Rep. Franz Alvarez, Calida gave the excuse of the subjudice rule that’s why he cannot come to the hearing.
“The issues raised in the petition not only affect the validity of the expired franchise of ABS-CBN, but they ultimately cast a shadow over the legality and propriety of granting the company a renewed franchise.
“Inevitably, this petition will likewise broach before the Supreme Court the issue of whether ABS-CBN’s franchise can be legally renewed,” Calida said in the letter.
Calida has been absent from all Congressional hearings on the ABS-CBN franchise, both at the House of Representatives and the Senate.
At the end of last week’s hearing, the committee scheduled the next hearing to be on Monday, June 1, 2020.
Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano asked the committee to be more lenient to the Solicitor General and give him another chance to speak at the next hearing of ABS-CBN franchise
[It is] very clear that the champion of exposing the alleged violations of ABS-CBN is Solicitor General. That doesn’t exclude the other champions who are here today and other oppositors who have been interviewed on specific alleged violations. But si SolGen ang nakapag-put together nung allegations, nung proof, nung ebidensya, nung witnesses,” Cayetano said.
“[Let’s] extend him the courtesy na makapagprepare din siya ng opening statement but at least a summary on the allegations sa ABS so that to be fair to our executives from ABS-CBN at sa kanilang mga empleyado na masagot naman nila punto por punto,” he added.
Calida is the man behind the quo warranto petition against the network at the Supreme Court which in effect was already dismissed for being moot since the franchise has already expired.
The Solgen was also tagged responsible for pressuring the NTC to issue a cease and desist order against ABS-CBN after their franchise expired on May 4.