Philippine Court Junks Plea That Factored Into ABS-CBN Shutdown

The Philippines’ Supreme Court has junked the government chief lawyer’s plea to scrap ABS-CBN Corp.’s franchise, declaring the petition moot as the broadcaster’s permit already expired, the court’s spokesman said.

The dismissed “quo warranto” petition by Solicitor General Jose Calida was among the reasons cited by the National Telecommunications Commission why it didn’t give a temporary permit and instead issued a shutdown order on the network after its franchise lapsed in May.

ABS-CBN will remain off air despite the ruling, as the closure order -- which the broadcaster has challenged before the top court -- is still in effect. Congress is also deliberating on a bill seeking to grant another 25-year franchise to the network, which has been criticized by President Rodrigo Duterte.

A quo warranto petition against unit ABS-CBN Convergence remains pending.

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