Bantay Radyo workers asked to go on leave
More than two days after its transmission sites were disabled, El Nuevo Bantay Radyo is still waiting to go on air.
Busay barangay councilor Yody Sanchez, station vice president for operations, said employees will be asked to go on forced leave with pay while waiting for the confiscated equipment to be returned.
“We’re still hoping that the devices will be returned,” he said.
The network of three AM radio stations has 23 employees.
Provincial Board (PB) Member Gigi Sanchez said PAFI Foundation, which she leads as CEO, paid in court the required P1-million bond at the first hour yesterday.
The bond is for the effectivity of a Temporary Restraining Order which was issued by the court last Friday against the Sarraga Integrated and Management (SIAM) Broadcasting Network, franchise owner of the network, and the Cebu CFI Community Cooperative.
Sanchez said her lawyers are finalizing a motion to cite SIAM in contempt.
Last Saturday, several men entered the premises of all three radio towers between midnight and 1 a.m. and removed three black boxes that generate the carrier frequency for the radio transmitters.
Without the devices, which cost about P600,000 and have to be ordered in the US, the radio stations can’t broadcast.
Yody Sanchez said he confirmed with a a SIAM official that the exciters were removed on the instruction of the company president Franciso Sarraga.
A legal battle continues over a planned takeover of management of Bantay Radyo after SIAM decided to end the contract upon expiry last July 31 and signed up Cebu CFI Community Cooperative for a new contract.
The court, however, said the PAFI Foundation founded by the late vice governor Greg Sanchez, Gigi’s father, had deposited the amount of P700,000 in the account of SIAM on April 10 as initial payment of their extended management agreement which was a “tacit renewal” of their contract.
“Patently, the right of the plaintiff to the management and operation of radio stations and facilities of dyDD (Cebu), dyHH (Haibaiyo), and dy ZZ (Bogo City) and Bantay Radio still subsists.”
The court ordered PAFI to pay a P1-million bond pending final resolution of the civil case. It stopped the defendants from taking over the management and operations of the stations including its broadcasting facilities, equipment and machineries.
Aileen Pacayra, in charge of the RTC Branch 9 civil records section said they haven’t received a notice yet about the bond payment.
Yody Sanchez accused CFI of involvement in the raids, saying the co-op already set up a studio in the Cebu Cooperative Bank along M. Velez Street in preparation for a takeover. He said CFI also acquired an antenna, hired technicians and made arrangements to several announcers “but they can’t function without a tower transmitter, radials, and more.” Lawyer Lito Astillero, CFI spokesman, confirmed that the co-op already purchased equipment from the US but said they still did not hire any technicians or announcers.
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