Latest Stories

Bleak New Year for Sugbo news employees


SUSPENDED Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia on Saturday recorded her message with Sugbo TV despite the closure of the Sugbo TV. JUNJIE MENDOZA/CDN

CEBU CITY—The future of the 35 employees of Sugbo TV and Sugbo News appears bleak after acting Gov. Agnes Magpale shut down the operation of these two province-owned media outlets on Friday.

Magpale told a news conference on Saturday that the closure was just temporary and Sugbo TV would start airing in January.

She explained that the closure stemmed from budgetary concerns and the need to review the programs in the wake of allegation that these were used as propaganda machinery of suspended Governor Gwendolyn Garcia.

“The Garcias used the Sugbo TV in campaigning,” Magpale said.

She also asked an executive summary of the functions and duties of the 35 personnel of Sugbo TV and Sugbo News.

Magpale said that although their contracts would expire on Dec. 31, the employees would receive their salary this month and a P30,000-bonus.

There was, however, no assurance that their contracts would be renewed, she added.

The employees might also be assigned to other capitol offices, Magpale said.

Sugbo TV was a 24-hour cable program aired over SkyCable, while Sugbo News was a monthly news magazine of the province.

Both were pet projects of Garcia who has been ordered suspended by Malacañang for six months for grave abuse of authority. She, however, continues to defy the order and has been holed up at the governor’s office since Wednesday. Garcia said she and her family would spend Christmas in her office.

On Friday, Magpale ordered the suspension of the media outlets’ operations and directed the police to guard sensitive offices inside the capitol compound, including the TV facilities.

“They are not an independent media institution; they are adjuncts to the suspended Governor Gwen’s office. The issue on prior restraint is not applicable,” she said.

Magpale said they downloaded episodes aired at Sugbo TV which was used for “campaigning” by the Garcias.

Garcia is running for third district representative, replacing her brother, Rep. Pablo John Garcia who is running for governor under the One Cebu Party.

Magpale, who is running for vice governor, belongs to the Liberal Party whose standard bearer is Hilario Davide III.

Magpale said they would have to reformat some programs so the cable channel would serve its mandate to promote Cebu province.

The budget allocation for the two outlets was also subject to scrutiny during the Provincial Board’s budget hearing last Dec. 10, after the executive asked P8-million budget for Sugbo TV for 2013 from P200,000 this year for its cable operations.

Sugbo News keeps its 2012 budget of P22 million in the 2013 proposed budget.

Aside from the P200,000 allocation in the annual budget, the provincial government also pays P100,000 monthly in airtime to SkyCable and $14,000 (P560,000 in an exchange of $1 to P40) monthly for the satellite feed.

An ordinance institutionalizing the Sugbo TV and Sugbo News is pending at the Provincial Board.

The proposed ordinance seeks to enhance the function of the Public Information Office using Sugbo TV and Sugbo News as vehicles for communication development.

Magpale also said Sugbo News editor, Roger Serna, told her that Sugbo News had ceased printing five months ago.

When reached for comment, Serna denied Magpale’s claim.

“Wrong. Six months our outputs did not come out of the printing press because the purchase request had not been approved,” he said in a text message.

Magpale also suspended capitol-funded radio programs aired in three AM radio stations.

She, however, said that payment would be made as stipulated in the contract, which would expire on December 31.

The letters were sent to radio stations dyLA, dyRF and dyKC, which aired the daily program “One Cebu” or “Hiniusang Sugbo”, the name of the political party led by Garcia.

“Pending the outcome of the review, I am requesting you in my capacity as the acting chief executive of Cebu to immediately restrain and disallow any and all persons from anchoring capitol-paid radio programs in your station, unless prior approval from the undersigned is first sought,” said Magpale’s letter dated Dec. 20.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Labor , Media , New Year , Regions , Sugbo News , SUGBO TV , Unemployment

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  2. Save the queen? Aide takes fall for Enrile, Gigi Reyes
  3. Palace prepared to charge its allies
  4. Senator’s kickback from pork bigger than those of Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – Lacson
  5. Napoles turnaround alarms whistle-blowers
  6. What Went Before: Malacañang allies alleged involvement in pork scam
  7. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  8. Timeline: Napoles tell-all
  9. HK apology: Why Estrada and not Aquino?
  10. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  3. Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  4. Bernice Lee arrested by NBI team
  5. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  6. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  7. Suspect in Vhong Navarro’s mauling wants to turn state witness – De Lima
  8. Reckless driver endangered lives of Aquino, entourage–report
  9. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  10. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  8. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  9. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia
  10. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima


  • Camilla’s brother dies of NYC head injury
  • Nepal officials go to Everest to try to end crisis
  • Escudero ready to defend self should name appear in Napoles’ list
  • Obama calls for peaceful end to island dispute
  • Russia not abiding by agreement on Ukraine—Obama
  • Sports

  • Promoters Dela Hoya, Arum in talks for Pacquiao-Alvarez—report
  • Benzema guides Madrid to 1-0 win over Bayern
  • Suns’ Goran Dragic win NBA’s Most Improved Player award
  • Heat go up 2-0, hold off Bobcats 101-97
  • Ronaldo shakes off injury fears to play Bayern
  • Lifestyle

  • This woman ate what?
  • Photos explore dynamics of youths’ sexual identity
  • 12th Philippine Food Expo set at the World Trade Center
  • No tourist draw, Malang the croc will remain wild
  • The best flavors of summer in one bite, and more
  • Entertainment

  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • Sony developing live-action Barbie comedy
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Return of ‘Ibong Adarna’
  • Practical Phytos plans his future
  • Business

  • Facebook profits triple as mobile soars
  • Insular Honors Sales Performers at Testimonial Rites
  • Apple increases stock buyback, will split stock
  • Cost-recovery provisions for affected gencos urged
  • This time, BIR goes after florists
  • Technology

  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 24, 2014
  • Talking to Janet
  • Respite
  • Bucket list
  • JPII in 1981: walking a tightrope
  • Global Nation

  • PH-HK relations repaired, but families of victims still being courted
  • Filipinos in Middle East urged to get clearance before returning
  • PH seeks ‘clearer assurance’ from US
  • China and rivals sign naval pact to ease maritime tensions
  • What Went Before: Manila bus hostage crisis
  • Marketplace