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Senate asks SC to drop them from ABS-CBN’s petition vs NTC

Senate avoids commenting on the ABS-CBN petition in SC invoking separation of powers.

The Senate has filed a manifestation to the Supreme Court saying their presence is not required in the case of ABS-CBN against the National Telecommunications Commission.

Instead of filling a comment on the case, the Senate on Wednesday released a copy of their manifestation filed on June 1 invoking the doctrine of separation of powers and insisted it should be dropped from the petition since it is neither indispensable nor necessary party to the case at hand.

The Senate maintained that their power and authority lies in crafting laws granting or renewing legislative franchises broadcast networks while the SC petition deals with whether the NTC acted in accordance with the Constitution when it issued a CDO instead of a provisional authority in favor of ABS-CBN.

“Besides, it is submitted that the Senate is not an indispensable party, nor even a necessary party to the present case. As such, it should be dropped as a party in the instant suit.

“The presence of the Senate as a party in the instant suit is not required because there is no counterclaim or cross-claim against the Senate in the case,” Senate said in a statement

“Further, impleading the Senate in the present case cannot grant complete relief to petitioner because the Honorable Court, as a co-equal body in government, cannot order or require the Senate to act one way or another — either to grant, renew or deny a franchise for petitioner since the power to pass any law, including the grant, renewal or denial of a legislative franchise, is a plenary power and discretion exclusively lodged in Congress and cannot be compelled by any court,” it added.

The Supreme Court earlier required the Senate and the House of Representatives to comment on the petition filed by ABS-CBN to stop the implementation of the National Telecommunications Commission’s (NTC) cease and desist order which forced the network to go off air on May 5, following their franchise expiry.

The House of Representatives on the other hand has yet to file its comment to the ABS-CBN petition.

Meanwhile, ABS-CBN has earlier disclosed that they are losing up to 35 million pesos a day since the shutdown. And they are about to implement retrenchment by August if they cannot go back on air immediately.


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