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Lawmaker sees double standard in SolGen’s sub judice invocation

Rep. Johnny Pimentel said if SolGen and NTC can invoke sub judice, it should also apply to ABS-CBN.

One of the congressmen who filed a bill to grant ABS-CBN another 25-year franchise sees a double standard in allowing the Solicitor General to invoke the sub judice rule.

In an interview with ANC, Deputy Speaker Johnny Pimentel said he doesn’t think Solicitor General Jose Calida and officials of the National Telecommunications Commission will jeopardize the cases at the Supreme Court if they will answer questions about ABS-CBN in Congress.

“For me, I think it will not jeopardize their case if they will be allowed to answer the questions in the committee,” he said

He added if the SolGen and NTC can invoke the sub judice rule, why is it that ABS-CBN is required to answer, noting that they are also a party in the quo warranto and TRO petitions at the high court.

He said, if the sub judice rule does not apply to ABS-CBN, it should not also apply to the two government agencies.

“That is what I find surprising because we’re implementing a double standard.”

“While the OSG and the NTC invoked the sub judice rule, however, the ABS-CBN is required to answer the questions that are being raised against them,” said Pimentel.

“I don’t believe—this is only my opinion—the sub judice rule will apply because under our House Rules, even if there is a case pending on a subject matter that is being investigated, it does not prohibit the committee to conduct an inquiry,” he continued.

On Monday, Solicitor General Jose Calida finally attended the congressional hearing on the ABS-CBN franchise.

However, Calida again evaded answering questions about ABS-CBN citing the sub judice rule and principle of non-encroachment on the exclusive domain of judicial jurisdiction as his reasons for avoiding answering questions.

“I maintain this position and thus I am not allowed to answer any questions involving matters pending on the Supreme Court,” said Calida.

Calida has been using on the sub judice rule every time he will be asked about the issue.

In previous invitations by the Senate and the House of Representatives, Calida also reasoned sub judice rule for not attending the hearings.


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