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OSG petition versus ABS-CBN Lagman ‘unwarranted, misplaced’ — Lagman

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Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman on Monday said the petition for quo warranto filed by the Office of the Solicitor General against ABS-CBN is “unwarranted and misplaced.”

“The essence or import of a quo warranto petition is that the respondent usurps the exercise of a public office, position or franchise to which the respondent is not entitled in the first place,” Lagman said.

“A holder of a valid congressional franchise is not a usurper,” he pointed out.

“Any violation in the use or exercise of a valid franchise should be judicially established in separate action alleging such violations, but not in a quo warranto proceeding on usurpation because a valid franchisee is not a usurper,” Lagman said.

He added that the quo warranto petition preempts or usurps the sole authority of the Congress to extend or not an existing and expiring franchise like that of ABS-CBN.

“Since the Supreme Court is not a trier of facts and the subject quo warranto petition involves factual questions on the alleged violations, the venue for the petition must be the proper Regional Trial Court which must conduct a trial on the facts,” Lagman said.

“The Congress, more particularly the House Committee on Legislative Franchises, must not temporize its action on the pending eight bills proposing the extension of the franchise of ABS-CBN because it must maintain its independence from the Executive and Judicial departments,” he said.

“Moreover, there is no final decision on the quo warranto case,” Lagman said.