• SC rules on foreign media ‘incursion’

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    THE Supreme Court has denied two petitions assailing the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for allowing two foreign media outfits to do businesses in the Philippines.

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    The Court dismissed the consolidated petitions of Kabataan Partylist Rep. Terry Ridon and lawyer Jonas Julius Caesar Azura, saying that “it would not want to pre-empt the prerogative to withdraw or uphold the state’s imprimatur on a corporate existence by giving due course to the petitions.”

    The petitioners claimed the SEC violated the constitutionally prescribed foreign ownership restrictions on nationalized industries when it allowed TV networks AXN and FOX to engage as mass media and advertising entities despite being 99.99 percent controlled by foreigners.

    In a privilege speech on January 27, Ridon accused AXN and FOX of “encroaching upon protected industries including the mass media and the advertising.

    He said that based on the last documents submitted to the SEC, these corporations are 99.99 percent foreign-owned.

    Azura filed a separate plea on the same question, prompting the Court to consolidate the two petitions.

    In dismissing the petition, the Supreme Court said Ridon and Azura made collateral attack on the corporate existence of AXN and FOX in the guise of an action questioning the SEC’s issuance of its certificates of registration.

    “There being an impropriety in the remedy resorted to by the petitioners and in the absence of the indispensible minimums for judicial review, the Court cannot give due course to these petitions,” the SC pointed out.

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