Does that look grim? That’s what may happen if Solicitor General Jose Calida’s petition is granted by the Supreme Court. All of ABS-CBN Corporation’s television and radio channels will be gone. In Metro Manila, that’s Channel 2. AM radio DZMM and FM station 101.9 will also be affected. Calida wants ABS-CBN Corporation’s franchise canceled due to alleged infractions. But why does a broadcast company even need a franchise? Isn’t that for jeeneys and buses only? According to law, broadcast franchise given to companies such as ABS-CBN are regulated. That’s because broadcast frequencies are limited and not everyone may use it. For example, several broadcasters cannot occupy a single channel– you will not understand anything then. Congress has the power to grant franchises, which last for 25 years. There are at least 11 bills supportive of the renewal of ABS-CBN’s franchise. However, Calida entered the picture and filed a quo warranto petition against ABS-CBN. That means he questioned ABS-CBN’s right to hold a franchise and stay on air. Calida also used a quo warranto to remove Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, who was a known critic of President Rodrigo Duterte. Like before, Calida’s use of a quo warranto to have ABS-CBN shut is questionable. But what really is his beef with ABS-CBN? Let’s see. He said the company abused its franchise when after selling ABS-CBN TV Plus, it offered a pay-per-view option. This is the Kapamilya Box Office or KBO. With just 30 pesos, you can watch a lineup of movies. ABS-CBN says this is not a violation of its franchise and this was approved by government regulators. Now, on PDRs or Philippine Depository Receipts. This is an investment in ABS-CBN Holdings, not in ABS-CBN Corporation. This can be bought by qualified individuals, including foreigners. Companies usually do this to collect additional funds Companies usually do this to collect additional funds Calida argued ABS-CBN violated the Constitution because foreigners bought PDRs. Did that sound familiar? That’s because Calida also had news organization Rappler investigated on the issue of foreign ownership. The law dictates that a media company should be 100 percent Filipino-owned. But in ABS-CBN’s case, it is clear that just because a foreigner owns a PDR, he can be considered an owner of the company. The PDR is not like a share of stock and its owner is not accorded voting rights. This is how a former head of the Philippine Stock Exchange explained it. It’s like betting on a horse. If the horse wins in the race, you get a share of the pot money. But that doesn’t mean you own the horse. The Securities and Exchange Commission analyzed and approved ABS-CBN’s PDRs before these were offered to the public. Calida also questioned the franchise of ABS-CBN Convergence Inc., the telecommunication subsidiary of ABS-CBN Corp. The Company explained that its entry into ABS-CBN Convergence is in accordance with the law. Even if the Supreme Court rejects Calida’s petition, it is still uncertain for ABS-CBN whether or not Congress will grant its franchise. Several lawmakers have said they support the franchise, but even if it is approved by the House of Representatives and the Senate, the President can veto the renewed franchise. He has said before that he will block this. And if congressmen sit on the issue and the franchise expires in March 30, this does not mean ABS-CBN will go off air. Senate President Tito Sotto said But that is if Calida’s petition is not granted by the Supreme Court.