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House Hearing on NBP Drug Trade Resumes Today. Will News5 Participate?

The hearing on the New Bilibid Prisons drug trade resumes today at the Batasan Pambansa. The focus of the broadcast aspect will be on News5, who only covered the hearings online last September 20-21. (Photo credit: Roices Naguit)

The hearing on the New Bilibid Prisons drug trade resumes today at the Batasan Pambansa. (Photo credit: Roices Naguit)

The House of Representatives’ hearing on the drug trade at the New Bilibid Prisons resumes today.

The third part of the hearings will feature notable witnesses such as Bureau of Corrections officer-in-charge Rafael Ragos and former intelligence officer Joenel Sanchez. The House has also sent invitations to former Bucor general Franklin Bucayu, former driver of Leila de Lima Ronnie Dayan, and convicted inmate Jaybee Sebastian.

All of the witnesses will be presented by the Department of Justice. On a related note, the alleged sex video of Leila de Lima will no longer be shown at the hearings due to negative criticisms.

Broadcast-wise, the hearings will again be seen live in most major news outlets both online and on traditional media. The question is, is News5 fully committed to carrying the hearings?

It can be recalled that during the House hearings that took place on September 20 and 21, News5 only aired the entirety of the proceedings online, with AksyonTV partially participating and Radyo5 92.3 News FM ignoring it altogether. News5’s non-airing of the hearings on traditional media was heavily criticized, and its apparent ignorance serves as an insult to TV5 in general.

While ‘Relasyon’ and ‘Wanted sa Radyo’ are just some of the most popular shows on Radyo5, preempting the two shows in favor of live hearings could have benefited the Kapatid follower. After all, unlike the ‘Big Three’ in AM that are DZBB, DZMM and DZRH, Radyo5 can be accessible on most mobile devices (e.g. cellphones), thus giving them an advantage.

Still, with due respect to Luchi Cruz-Valdes, Gladys Lana-Lucas, Atty. Mel Sta. Maria, Raffy Tulfo and Niña Taduran, every once in a while they should have given way to important events such as this. Once they show up to host their respective programs in an occasion of utmost importance, it will be an utter disgrace to the community of journalists.

Let’s just hope that News5 finally comes to their senses and air this hearing on their broadcast networks. Otherwise, expect even greater criticism from this embattled outlet.

As for the rest of the stations (e.g. DZMM TeleRadyo, GMA News TV, CNN Philippines, ABS-CBN News Channel), good luck again on this marathon. Every word and movement on this hearing will be very crucial towards delivering the utmost truth.

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Busy Day for Networks in a Marathon Senate Hearing on EJK

The Senate hearing on extrajudicial killings reached fever pitch Monday night.

The hearing began at 9:30 a.m., with Senator Richard Gordon presiding the proceedings. Senator Gordon and company presented the following witnesses that day:

  • SPO1 Vivencio Jumawan Jr.
  • PO3 Enrique Ayao
  • Ret. S. Supt. Dionisio Abude
  • SPO3 Arthur Lascañas

All four testified and questioned the validity of star witness Edgar Matobato’s statement. They claimed that they knew Matobato and they also denied the existence of a Davao Death Squad.

However, the highlight of the hearing took place deep into the evening. Senators Alan Peter Cayetano, Gordon, Panfilo Lacson and Manny Pacquiao learned that star witness Edgar Matobato had left the building even before his scheduled testimony, with Senator Antonio Trillanes IV even telling Matobato to leave for security reasons.

This led to a word war between Senators Gordon and Leila de Lima. The two senators clashed over what Gordon claimed was ‘material concealment’ of information on de Lima’s part over Matobato’s kidnapping case in 2002, and it led to de Lima storming out of the Senate.

In the end, Senator Gordon announced that the hearing on extrajudicial killings will be suspended until further notice. Gordon then called for a caucus of committee members, which may take place today.

At around 12:00 p.m., the following major networks were covering the Senate hearings:

  • DZMM TeleRadyo (and DZMM Radyo Patrol 630)
  • ABS-CBN News Channel
  • CNN Philippines
  • GMA News TV
  • Super Radyo DZBB 594
  • AksyonTV
  • Radyo5 92.3 News FM
  • PTV-4

Save for TV5’s ‘Aksyon sa Tanghali’, there was no noontime newscast that day due to the hearings. However, for some unknown reason, AksyonTV and Radyo5 92.3 News FM chose to stop carrying the feed by 12:30 in favor of regular programming, a decision that did not sit well with the Kapatid faithful (the PBA coverage is excused, however).

At around 6:00 p.m. CNN Philippines ended the coverage in favor of ‘Network News’. Thirty minutes later, DZMM and DZBB concluded their coverage in order to carry ‘TV Patrol’ and ’24 Oras’ respectively.

By 6:45 p.m. ANC likewise ended their coverage in favor of regular programming. The network was unable to cover the heated confrontation between Senators de Lima and Gordon, however, and they deferred the coverage to DZMM TeleRadyo instead.

Overall, it was a very busy day for the networks at the Senate. In a hearing that lasts over 13 hours (with a suspension of over an hour), every action needs to be followed, and many of them tried their best to do so.

Now that the hearings are suspended until further notice, it is back to mostly regular programming for the networks. Still, it remains to be seen if the impending continuation of the hearings will be as action-packed as the last one.

 

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Leila de Lima’s Announcement and Subsequent TV Coverage

It only took around 45 minutes, but Department of Justice secretary Leila de Lima swiftly announced the filing of plunder, malversation of public funds, bribery, and graft and corruption charges against Pork Barrel mastermind Janet Napoles, senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada and Bong Revilla, and 34 others. Seconds after the charges were filed, media reporters rush in to grab documents of the said cases.

Even before the announcement was made, Senator Enrile had been rushed to the hospital after complaining of difficulty in urinating. It was also reported that once the charges against him were announced, he immediately proclaimed his innocence. Let’s face it, Enrile is an ailing 89-year old man, and accusing him of plunder at his advanced age is not what I want to see. The accusations against him would only hasten his already failing health, and may lead to his eventual death.

Senator Estrada had been accused of plunder before, when he and his father, former President and Manila mayor Joseph Estrada, were both charged relating to the Jose Velarde scandal twelve years earlier. Senator Revilla had also been involved in prior legal cases, both during his acting and ongoing political career. While both denied the accusations, Senator Estrada has said he is prepared to face the charges, while Senator Revilla said that the people should not judge him and his co-accusers this early in their ordeal.

In terms of television coverage, all of the major networks aired the live press conference of de Lima’s announcement. While GMA News TV, DZMM Teleradyo and the ABS-CBN News Channel were able to carry the live press conference, TV5 was forced to carry the announcement as sister station AksyonTV carried the live NCAA games. TV5’s live coverage of the announcement affected their programming; their ‘Sine Ko Singko’ program was delayed for several minutes, while another rerun of ‘Face to Face’ significantly cut the airtime allotted for the public service program ‘T3: Reload’. The Tulfo brothers’ program was reduced to 10 minutes rather than the standard 30, and time constraints prevented any complainants from voicing some of their complaints on national TV. If I were News5 head Luchi Cruz-Valdes, I would tell TV5 president Noel Lorenzana to stop airing reruns of ‘Face to Face’ and instead replace it with any of News5’s public affairs programs, or the live simulcast of Radyo5 92.3 News FM‘s ‘Cristy FerMinute’, because it is becoming too annoying.

Meanwhile, the trial for the plunder case against Napoles and 37 other co-conspirators will be announced soon, and is expected to be carried live by all of the major networks.

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Pork Barrel References on ‘Ang Bagong Dating Doon’

Pork Barrel and Janet Napoles remain the hot topic of conversation this past week. And even the GMA gag show ‘Bubble Gang‘ took aim at the issue.

During last Friday’s segment of ‘Ang Bagong Dating Doon’, there were two questions that jokingly reference the word ‘whistleblower’ and ‘Pork Barrel’. But before they tackled the issue, a viewer submitted the question regarding the originality of the GMA teleserye ‘My Husband’s Lover’. Brod Pete (Isko Salvador) then answered that it was not an original series, but rather it was inspired from the 1960s pop group Peter, Paul and Mary, which he claimed that Mary was the offspring of married gay couple Peter and Paul. In reality, Peter, Paul and Mary were a folk group comprising of Peter Yarrow, Paul Stookey and Mary Travers, and contrary to Brod Pete’s claim, Mary was about the same age as Peter and Paul, and gay marriage was illegal at the time.

The first reference of the Pork Barrel scam came when Mikael Daez asked a question: ‘May nasusulat po ba tungkol sa ‘whistleblower’?’ (Is there a written reference regarding the word ‘whistleblower’?) Brod Pete then gave reference to the Simon & Garfunkel song ‘The Boxer’, which Brother Willy (Caesar Cosme) then mentioned the chorus ‘lie la lie’, which he then changed to ‘luy la luy’ in reference to another Pork Barrel whistleblower Benhur Luy.

Brod Pete then answered a viewer’s question regarding words that he claims were not used correctly. This time he tackled the contents of a bio-data, during which he disagreed with the listing ‘sex’ and instead corrected it with the word ‘gender’ in the description, and then disagreeing with the description ‘salary desired’ in the bio-data. He then claimed that ‘doorbell’ is not the correct terminology, thinking that it is placed near the gates of the house, then ‘doorbell’ is not the right word, but rather ‘gatebell’. He also mentioned text lingo in the segment, thinking that it is inappropriate.

The next question was asked by Antonio Aquitania: ‘May nasusulat po ba tungkol sa ‘Pork Barrel’?’ (Is there a written reference regarding the word ‘Pork Barrel’?) Both Brod Pete and Brother Willy then referenced the song ‘Beer Barrel Polka‘, which they changed the chorus to ‘Roll Out the Barrel of Funds’ and linking it to the Million People March that occurred at the Quirino Grandstand two weeks ago.

Another ‘Bubble Gang’ segment with political references was ‘Sec. de Anim’, a joking reference to Department of Justice secretary Leila de Lima. The highlight of the segment was when the reporters (Paolo Contis, Chariz Solomon) asked questions about possible bills named after GMA teleseryes such as ‘My Husband’s Lover’, ‘Mundo Mo’y Akin’ and ‘Mga Basang Sisiw’. However, the highlight of a politically-charged episode of ‘Bubble Gang’ was the ‘Ang Bagong Dating Doon’ segment which referenced Pork Barrel and its related terms.

The entire ‘Ang Bagong Dating Doon’ segment can be viewed below.

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