One of the country’s brilliant legal minds, former SP Juan Ponce Enrile speaks up re Quo warranto petition filed by Solgen Calida vs ABS-CBN franchise

One of the brilliant legal minds in the country, former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile shared his legal opinion regarding the quo warranto petition filed by SolGen Jose Calida before the Supreme Court against ABS-CBN’s franchise for alleged violation of the Constitution.

The former Senator said in his radio program at Sonshine Radio that the quo warranto was just right.

According to Enrile, ABS-CBN has a problem with its qualification to own a franchise because of the presence of foreign participation in the network which is in violation of the Constitution. “Ang problema diyan ay yung kwalipikasyon ng ABS-CBN to have a franchise. Dahil sang-ayon sa ating Saligang-batas, ang mga korporasyon na ang kanilang negosyo ay communication o information, media, hindi pwedeng magkaroon ng kahit isang shares of stock ang banyaga. because it must be fully owned by Filipinos,” Enrile stated..

The former Senator explained that ABS-CBN has implemented a system to get foreign investment by issuing Philippine Deposit receipts or PDR, which is a form of foreign investment and participation in the company. “May ginawa silang sistema para makakuha ng kapital na banyaga. Yung tinatawag nilang Philippine Deposit Receipts.

Enrile elaborated further that this is money of the foreign investor deposited in ABS-CBN. The investor will receive a deposit receipt and that deposit received from the foreign investor, ABS-CBN will use the money to improve their equipments and the foreign investor will make money from the dividends or earnings of the company. The network is not paying interest because it is not a form of a loan. Not a borrowing but an investment in the company. And the basis of the benefits of the investor is the income of the company. They have participation. Enrile said this is illegal. “Ito yung pera ng banyaga na idedeposito-kuno sa ABS-CBN. Bibigyan ng resibo at doon sa deposito na iyon, gagamitin ng ABS yun para pagandahin yung kanilang mga equipment pero makikinabang sila [foreign investor] sa sa kinikita. Hindi interest ang kanilang binabayaran dahil hindi loan yun eh. Hindi pautang kungdi investment doon sa kumpanya. At ang batayan ng pakinabang nung nag-invest ay kung ano kikitain nung kumpanya. May participation sila. Eh hindi pwede yun,” paliwanag ni Sen. Enrile.

In light of this, Enrile said the quo warranto filed by the SolGen is the proper legal remedy to question the qualification of ABS-CBN to issue PDRs as per rules of court. “Quo warranto proceeding ang dapat ang gamiting nila, yun ay proseso sa rules of court natin. Yung ginagamit na reglamento  sa pagsusuri sa husgado to challenge the qualification of a corporation to do that business.”

Enrile also shared his opinion on what happens if Congress grants ABS-CBN a new franchise or an extension before March 30, 2020. Enrile said this is rendered useless if the Supreme Court rules in favor of the SolGen petition and declare ABS-CBN is not qualified to own a franchise for violating the Constitution. “Kahit na magbigay ng prangkisa ang Kongreso, kapag sinabi ng Korte na hindi qualified ang ABS-CBN dahil sa violation, may foreign ownership, eh balewala yung prangkisa.”

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Source: JPEnrile

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