Senate President Vicente Sotto III said Thursday the Constitution protects ABS-CBN from any plans of seizing its properties, which was openly discussed by some House Representatives who also pushed the network’s shutdown.
“Takeover ABS CBN property? Private property is constitutionally protected. Possession is given weight. There is a venue, the courts; and there is due process. Bawal judgemental!” Sotto said in a Twitter post, citing a popular tag line from his former TV Show “Eat Bulaga.”
Last week, Sagip party-list Representative Rodante Marcoleta said in a Zoom meeting with other lawmakers that the network should be evicted from its property due to land title issues.
The issue on the land title first surfaced during the House committee hearing on the ABS-CBN franchise renewal application.
Sotto earlier said ABS-CBN Corporation should prioritize the reconstitution of its land title for its property in Mother Ignacia Street, Quezon City.
“ABS-CBN, the corporation, should concentrate on the reconstitution of their land title,” Sotto said.
The Senator recounted that during his time as vice mayor of Quezon City in 1989 or 1990, a fire engulfed the whole floor of the Registry of Deeds in the city hall.
Sotto said the property then reconstituted their land titles.
“Those are what, 30 years ago? They should have reconstituted para nawala iyang isang problema,” Sotto said.
Senator Richard Gordon meanwhile also said the solons were “out of line” for talking about going after ABS-CBN’s property just days after the network shutdown and its employees are still mourning.
“I don’t think they can confiscate the properties of the ABS-CBN without due process of law. They cancelled the franchise,” Gordon said.
“ABS-CBN is free to own it. Hindi naman puwede agawin ang physical properties ng ABS-CBN. I think they are out of line there,” he added.
The network’s franchise expired on May 4 and went off-air following the National Telecommunications Commission-issued cease and desist order.
Last week, ABS-CBN already started laying off employees and closing some program shows, particularly in news and current affairs department.