Sen. Grace Poe on Wednesday called for a Senate inquiry into the franchise of ABS-CBN Corp. following the Supreme Court case accusing the TV network of abuse, filed by Solicitor General Jose Calida.

“The resolution on ABS-CBN Corporation initiates the discussion of the Senate Committee on Public Services on the compliance of the grantee with the terms and conditions of its franchise and to allow all parties to air their side,” Poe, chairwoman of the Senate public services committee, said in a statement.

“This is part of the Senate’s oversight function over any franchise and not just ABS-CBN, as mandated by the Constitution and the Senate Rules,” added Poe, adoptive daughter of the late action star Fernando Poe Jr. whose movies had been rerun by ABS-CBN.

Poe pointed out that the discussion in the Senate did not “preclude any action in the House of Representatives or the Supreme Court” and did not violate the rule on sub judice or prohibition on the public discussion of pending court cases.

Proposed Senate Resolution 322 states: “[I]n a public statement, ABS-CBN stressed that no law has been violated and all their dealings are well within the provisions of their franchise … no less than Article XII, Section 11 of the 1987 Constitution mandates that no ‘…such franchise or right be granted except under the condition that it shall be subject to amendment, alteration, or repeal by the Congress when the common good so requires.'”

Moreover, “ABS-CBN’s own franchise provides that it shall be subject to amendment, alteration or repeal by the Congress of the Philippines when the public interest so requires,” the resolution added.

“[T]he power to amend, alter, or repeal is corollary to the power to review the compliance of a grantee with the terms and conditions of its franchise,” it said.

ABS-CBN’s franchise, under Republic Act 7966, expires on March 30.

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