Liberal party dads support E-media closure PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 26 October 2017 13:36

Liza Jocson

Councilors allied with the Liberal party have formally supported the move by the City Mayor to effect a closure order on E-media, a local tri-media network.

Nine administration councilors voted in favor of the resolution.  These are Councilors Juan Climaco “Kim” Elago, Cesar “Sang” Jimenez, Teodyver Arquiza, JImmy Villaflores, Josephine “Pinpin” Pareja, and Elbert “Bong” Atilano, Al-Jihan Edding, and Tungkuh Hanapi.

Councilor Marxander Cabato abstained.

Minority Councilors Rudy Lim, Myra Paz Abubakar, Mike Alavar, Lilibeth Nuño, and Jerry Perez voted against.

Councilors BG Guingona and Rudy Bayot were out of the session hall while Councilor Rommel Agan was out of the country.

The resolution, which blindsided some councilors and a flabbergasted audience, came after  an unscheduled privilege speech by Councilor Sang Jimenez on a “Cease and Desist Order” issued by the city goverment on E-media.

This was in the presence of City Legal Officer Jesus Carbon and City Administrator Marie Angelique “Apple”Go, who were present in the city council for another dialogue.

During the deliberation, Carbon appealed to the City Council to support  a move by the City Mayor to effect a closure order on E-media for its “blatant violation” on its operations.

“If the executive doesn’t get the support of the legislative, something should be wrong,”  said Carbon.

Mariano, the resolution’s proponent, said that the measure should be approved “to promote orderliness and the rule of law.”

“If the city does not have the muscle to implement its laws, we will become the laughing stock of the entire city of Zamboanga and the nation,”  Mariano said in trying to convince his colleagues to support his resolution.

City Hall has granted E-media a business permit to operate its tri-media network but is now demanding that franchise holder Westwind secure the permit.

E-media earlier entered into a formal agreement to provide broadcast content for Westwind Broadcasting, a congressional franchise holder.

“If they are in partnership with Westwind then the one who should secure a permit to operate here is Westwind and not E-media,” Carbon said.

Carbon also downplayed the issuance of a business permit to E-media saying that being able to secure a  permit is “only a matter of privilege and not a matter of right.”

Meanwhile, the city government is asking E-media to apply for a congressional franchise to support its tri-media operations.

Carbon dismissed the idea of a dialogue saying that discussions will be futile.

“Nobody agrees with each other in a dialogue. The solution is with E-media. Why don’t they just comply?” Carbon said.

The council resolution is the latest development following an attempt by City Hall to effect the closure order on the television station.

Last October 9, personnel from City Hall went to E-media to effect the closure order but failed.

E-media President Ray Bayoging denied defying the order and said that only the National Telecommunications Commission has the power to close the company.

Bayoging also said that they have been complying with City Hall’s demands and rebuked councilors for not allowing them to exercise the right to be heard.

E-media has already survived an attempt by another media entity to close them.

Last year, a broadcast company having  strong links with Mayor Climaco asked the NTC to close E-media due to a lack of franchise.

The closure did not push through.  (Liza Jocson)