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LP allied councilors favor closure of EMedia


Eight councilors, who ran and won under the Liberal Party and one from another party, voted to support the move of the city government to close a local radio-television station known to be straightforward in exposing irregularities and anomalies in Zamboanga City.

Liberal party allied Councilors Cesar “Sang” Jimenez, Juan “Kim” Climaco Elago, Elbert “Bong” Atilano, Josephine “Pinpin” Pareja, Jimmy Villaflores, Teodyver Arquiza, Al-Jihan Edding and Tungkuh Hanapi voted in favor of the motion of  Councilor Charlie Mariano to support the closure of EMedia, based on the allegations of City Legal Officer Jesus Carbon that the said media outfit lack certain documentary requirements.

Those who went against the motion were Councilors Rodolfo “Rudy” Lim, Mike Alavar, Jerry Perez, Lilibeth Nuno and Myra Paz Abubakar, while Maxander “Boday” Cabato abstained.

According to Mr. Rey Bayoging, President and CEO of Emedia, he was already expecting the city government to bring the closure issue to the City Council after it failed to close the station despite approaching several personalities and other government agencies.

“Since they were not able to convince those they approached to help them close EMedia, I was already expecting the city government to bring the issue to the city council just like they did when they wanted to close Jollibee.” Bayoging said.

However, he added that he did not expect the councilors, especially those who have been using EMedia for their political advancement, to arbitrarily support the closure of EMedia without giving its officials a chance to answer the allegations of the City Legal Officer.

“We have been preparing to answer the accusations of the City Administrator and the City Legal Officer against us in the city council, but I was shocked when after a long discussion among the councilors belonging to the LP on how we deserve to heard, and on the importance of due process, they immediately voted to close EMedia without first hearing our side.” Bayoging said.

He explained that even though the requirements the city government is asking EMedia to submit are questionable, Bayoging reiterated that the outfit can submit the said requirements if given enough time.

“For four years we have been operating as a media outfit in the city. The Mayor, City Administrator, City Legal Officer, City Councilors and almost all of the top officials of the city government already visited the station, or granted interviews over the phone for several times, but none of them wrote us any notice that we lack certain requirements until just recently, when City Administrator Apple Go got mad with our reporter.” Bayoging said.

“If you ask for additional requirements, you should give us time if indeed you simply want us to comply. But if your intention is to really close us for political and personal reasons, then no matter how many trucks of documents we submit to your office, you will still look for ways to close us.” Bayoging said.

The veteran broadcaster is maintaining that the city government should submit any complaint they have against EMedia to the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), adding that only the NTC can conduct the proper hearings on the complaint and issue any closure order if it warrants. (EMedia)

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