Capiz radio station goes off-air amid issues with prov’l gov’t
ILOILO CITY –– The management of a radio station in Roxas City in Capiz has sought court intervention to prevent the provincial government from dismantling its broadcasting antenna.
The Baskog Radyo petitioned the Regional Trial Court in Roxas City, Capiz to issue a temporary restraining order and injunction, against the enforcement of a directive to remove its antenna at the rooftop of the provincial government-run Capiz Government and Business Center.
In a statement, provincial administrator Edwin Monares welcomed the filing of the petition saying “the merits of the issue will be heard by a court with the competency to interpret and render judgment as to the grounds of the order to dismantle the antenna.”
The FM radio station stopped broadcasting on Feb. 5 after representatives of the provincial government and the radio station agreed not to dismantle the antenna for a week from Feb. 7 to give time for the station to submit documents, including permits and licenses, to the provincial government or seek a court injunction.
Jay Lavapiez, station manager, said they have been broadcasting through Facebook live.
“We had no choice but to agree because of the prolonged negotiation and because our electricity was cut off,” he told the INQUIRER.
Lavapiez insisted that they have all the clearances, permits, and licenses to operate the station and put up the antenna. He said the station was also up-to-date with its rental payments.
But he said they have no legal obligation to provide the provincial government with copies of the documents because “it is not a regulatory body and the station’s relationship with it is lessor-lessee.”
Lavapiez said they believe that the move to dismantle the radio station’s antenna was in retaliation for their commentaries and reporting on alleged irregularities in the provincial capitol, including the existence of “ghost” employees.
The station started its operation in October 2018 during the administration of the then governor Antonio del Rosario, who was defeated by incumbent Gov. Esteban Evan Contreras during the 2019 elections.
Monares belied the allegations saying that all radio stations in the province have also reported on stories critical of the provincial government.
“We are not ordering them to stop broadcasting but to dismantle their antenna,” he told the INQUIRER.
Monares said the provincial government did not issue a written approval for the antenna, and the equipment is not part of the lease contract.
The 85-foot single-pole antenna stands on the rooftop of the three-story building.
He said the structure also poses a risk to public safety, citing a report of the provincial engineering office.
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