Contempt raps for Bantay Radyo owner, coop
PAFI Foundation yesterday filed contempt charges against two private entities for allegedly defying a court order that supposedly restrained them from taking over the management and operations of El Nuevo Bantay Radyo.
Represented by its vice president Eliodoro “Yody” Sanchez, Pafi asked the court to hold Sarraga Integration and Management (SIAM) Broadcasting Corp. and Cebu CFI Community Cooperative Inc. liable for disobeying the 20-day temporary restraining order (TRO) issued by the court last week.
In its petition filed before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) in Cebu City, Pafi is seeking damages in the amount of P1 million, and asked SIAM and CFI to return the “exciters” which agents of the two entities allegedly took past midnight last Saturday.
Also named respondents in the case were Arlene Jiminez and unidentified persons who took the exciters from the three radio towers of El Nuevo Bantay Radyo.
“The acts of the respondents constitute an abuse of or an unlawful interference with the processes or proceedings of a court tending to impede, obstruct, or degrade the administration of justice,” read Pafi’s petition which was prepared by lawyers Edgar Gica and Magnificus Cañete.
Judge Alexander Acosta of the RTC Branch 9 yesterday heard the oral arguments of the parties on whether or not the main case should be referred to arbitration.
The judge was informed about the filing of the contempt case before the RTC’s Office of the Clerk of Court but did not tackle the issue, saying it should be treated separately.
SIAM lawyer Michael Florentino Dumlao III said the commercial broadcast company did not violate any court order in removing the devices from their transmitters.
“To be clear, we have not received any order regarding the TRO. Besides, those equipment are owned by SIAM,” he told the court.
Dumlao also pointed out that the TRO issued by Acosta technically has no effect on SIAM which is based in Cagayan de Oro.
“SIAM is in Region 10. We are outside the jurisdiction of the 7th Judicial Region,” he said.
Cañete and Gica of Pafi considered the defense posed by SIAM and CFI as “unfair.”
“This is a demonstration of defendants’ deception. The transmitters are in Cebu. That alone will put an end to the argument that this court has no jurisdiction over SIAM,” Gica retorted.
Pafi earlier filed a civil suit in court against SIAM after the broadcast station decided to end its contract with Pafi and let Cebu CFI take control of El Nuevo Bantay Radyo.
Pafi chief executive officer and Cebu Provincial Board Member Grecilda Sanchez-Zaballero claimed that their family had already deposited an amount of P700,000 to SIAM’s account as initial payment for the renewal of the contract with the broadcast company. The contract is supposed to last until July 31, 2018.
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