NEWS: Two Tagum broadcasters stopped from airing radio program

By Cha Monforte

July 23

Two broadcasters in Tagum City were advised yesterday to end their early morning radio commentary program effective today by the management of an FM station whose legal papers to operate were earlier questioned by several city councilors.

Co-anchors Ben Wang and Manny Pajarito, who have their Uswag Davao Siege (UDS) radio program aired from 6-8 AM from Mondays to Fridays over X88.7 FM station, said in an interview with Sidlak late afternoon yesterday, that they were subject of a “a deal” saying the management wanted them out of the air following reported pressures from the city councilors whom the two have been criticizing every now and then for alleged unproductivity in making legislations and lack of debate occurring in their sessions.

Wang alleged that Randy Marquez, the station’s “owner”, resorted to self-serving self-censorship in caving in to reported pressures coming from the questioning City Hall officials in exchange for the continued running of the city-paid one-hour developmental radio program following their blocktime.

A report published in another paper, Tagum City Mantalaan said that the City Hall is paying the station P25,000 monthly for its “Tagum Padayon sa Pag-uswag” radio aired from 8-9 A.M. from Mondays to Fridays.

Both Wang and Pajarito expressed dismay over the station management’s act of terminating suddenly their blocktime even as they have still P18,000 unpaid obligations to the station saying that they could not even bade farewell today to their listeners whom they claimed to have been growing day by day.

They claimed their radio program rating has already topbilled in the airwaves of Tagum City and neighboring areas due to their “truthful commentaries.”

They also said they had not criticized even for once Mayor Rey Chiong Uy adding they believe on the mayor’s good governance and management in running the affairs of the City Hall.

Lately, the anchors were heard to be critical to 1st District Cong. Arrel Olaño and to some boardmembers in the Davao del Norte aside to several city councilors.

During the Question Hour in last week’s Sangguniang Panlungsod session aired live over DXDN Radyo Ukay, reports said that most the city councilors participated in over an hour of “grilling” to the X88.7 FM management officials who were invited to be present.

During the Question Hour, the station’s manager Fernando “Dodong” Marquez  admitted that the X88.7 FM has been operating for a year now without the required Provisional Authority from the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC).

He said though they that have already an application for affiliation with the Kalayaan Broadcasting Network (KBNI) but also claimed the KBNI has already given them temporary permit to broadcast when their FM station was allocated with the 88.7 radio frequency by KBNI.

During the same Question Hour, Edwin Garing, the station’s assistant manager, informed the inquiring councilors that all the affairs of the FM station is handled by the Expose Ads and Promotions, an advertising agency which contracted with the City Hall for its developmental radio program.

It was also learned that X88.7 FM has only a Memorandum of Agreement with KBNI but is not dated and not notarized.  (Cha Monforte/Rural Urban News)


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