Court asks network to return devices to Bantay Radyo
A Cebu City court yesterday asked Sarraga Integration and Management (SIAM) Broadcasting Corp. to return devices removed from radio transmitters which disabled operations of El Nuevo Bantay Radyo since Aug. 1.
“Can you return the exciters to maintain status quo? Can you do it within a couple of days?,”Judge Alexander Acosta asked SIAM lawyer Michael Florentino Dumlao in open court.
Present during yesterday’s hearing at the Regional Trial Court were Provincial Board (PB) Member Grecilda Sanchez, chief executive officer of PAFI Foundation and its vice president Eliodoro “Yody” Sanchez.
Dumlao, who earlier admitted that SIAM ordered the removal of the devices, said he still has to confer with the owners.
“For the moment, I don’t know where these exciters are. I know SIAM took it. They (SIAM owners) told me, they have it but let me verify it with them,” said the Cagayan de Oro-based lawyer.
The judge referred the main case, a dispute over the management contract of the network, for arbitration. A marathon hearing is set on August 18 for the court to decide whether to issue a preliminary injunction against SIAM to stop it from turning over management of Bantay Radyo to the Cebu CFI Community Cooperative Inc.
PAFI Foundation filed a civil suit for specific performance and injunction after SIAM refused to extend its contract after its expiry on July 31. SIAM instead signed another contract for Cebu CFI to take over control of El Nuevo Bantay Radyo.
The court issued a temporary restraining order saying that Sanchez’s deposit of P700,000 in SIAM’s account based on a prior agreement to extend the contract to 2018 was tantamount to a renewal.
In yesterday’s hearing, lawyer Edgar Gica of PAFI Foundation asked the court to hold SIAM and CFI liable for defying the court order.
“It was a willful disobedience on their (SIAM) part to disable the Bantay Radyo stations. What they did is a blatant violation of what the court prevented them from doing,” Gica said.
Gica, who represents PAFI with lawyer Magnificus Cañete, filed a petition to cite SIAM and CFI in contempt.
“It’s not an act against us. It’s an act against the court,” he said.
Dumlao retorted that they did not violate any court order since PAFI had yet to pay the P1 million bond for the temporary restraining order when SIAM removed the exciters.
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