Lawmaker tells OSG to let Congress handle ABS-CBN franchise issue

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 18) - A lawmaker said the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) should reconsider plans to file a complaint against media giant ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corp. and let Congress do its job related to the media giant's franchise renewal.

“It would be seen as the government’s harassment of ABS-CBN and certainly a clear assault on press freedom as enshrined in our Constitution,” said Cagayan de Oro 2nd district Rep. Rufus Rodriguez.

A newspaper recently said that the OSG is planning to file a quo warranto case against ABS-CBN before the Supreme Court questioning the alleged irregularities in the network’s franchise.

The network’s franchise is set to expire in March. Several bills seeking to extend the broadcast firm's license to operate for another 25 years have been filed in Congress.

READ: Duterte tells ABS-CBN execs to sell company 

Rodriguez noted that it is the Congress’ job to grant franchises under the 1987 Constitution.

“This will likewise encroach on the powers of the legislative branch and will violate the constitutional doctrine of the separation of powers among the legislative, executive and judicial branches of government,” said Rodriguez.

He added, “Let Congress do its job by hearings these bills.”

Meanwhile, the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines conducted a Black Friday protest on the threat against ABS-CBN.