CJ Panganiban's bold takeaway on ABS-CBN issue | Inquirer Opinion

CJ Panganiban’s bold takeaway on ABS-CBN issue

04:00 AM March 03, 2020

Just for purposes of academic discussion, our reaction to the March 3 column of former Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban (“Quo Warranto on ABS-CBN [Part 2: Answers”]) is one with plenty of reservations.

True it may be that, following the doctrine seen in Republic v. Sereno, the grounds for quo warranto should relate only to facts and circumstances that existed prior to an official’s appointment to a public office and not after.

However, it is likewise a truism that the Supreme Court can disregard its own rules and “well-settled” doctrines in favor of whatever pleases their Honors at any given moment, impervious to public opinion and unaccountable to no one.


So, if the quo warranto grounds against ABS-CBN clearly relate to alleged facts and circumstances arising after the grant of the franchise (as narrated in the petition—and even if proven valid), “the penalty is not a forfeiture of the franchise, but may only be a fine, or a refund of the fees paid, and/or a halt to the service complained of.”


The former chief justice thus opined in effect that quo warranto is an outlandish and unwarranted manner of going for a kill against ABS-CBN; hence, the Court should have junked that petition outright and spared the country such a colossal waste of time. Kudos to the former chief justice, indeed, for boldly expressing his own takeaway on a matter that has the entire nation’s head spinning like crazy.

Alas, there have been not a few instances where the Supreme Court, in the exercise of its “supreme” and unbridled authority, went full speed ahead with whatever it had set its mind on, damn all torpedoes. It has even disregarded no less than the Constitution itself, which ordains that it decide cases within two years only. And all that, despite its own reminders to the lower courts to decide cases within the short time limits imposed by the fundamental law, under pain of dismissal!

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TAGS: ABS-CBN franchise, Artemio Panganiban, Letter to the Editor, quo warranto petition, Rey C. Escobar, Supreme Court

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