Opinion

Of Radyo Kontra Droga 98.3 FM and of the Anti-Pirate Radio Law

[Requested by Ian Santos]

[DISCLAIMER: This post is neither associated with Radyo Kontra Droga nor with the National Telecommunications Commission. It is for information and educational purposes only.]

Ron Cruz (sitting, in white) is the mastermind behind Radyo Kontra Droga 98.3 FM in Manila. The station was acclaimed as pirated upon receipt from the PHRadio Group.

IS THE WRITING on the wall happening for a pirated radio station?

According to a post shared in the PHRadio Group this past week, a letter from the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) was received dated April 19. However, the originating post from the Facebook account (not as a page) obscured the content of the letter. Members of the group answered it either as a note of final warning or a letter of cease and desist (C&D) order.

Patrick Chin shared this post from Kontra Droga (as an account) showing the letter from the National Telecommunications Commission.

However, the exposed preliminary parts of the letter were given the suspicions. The recipient was addressed to a certain Mr. Ron Cruz who owned “Radyo Kontra Droga” 98.3 FM in Paco, Manila. The e-mail address obviously used those from his actual business, Ultralite Solar Power Hauz, on with the same location, which was promoted in Unang Hirit (GMA) and Bandila (ABS-CBN) more than two years ago.

Delving on the web, the Metro Manila’s FM frequencies are all occupied and 98.3 MHz is not even registered and licensed to permit by the NTC, not given a legitimate franchise from Congress and no publicity was ever recognized to the public.

The Turf reasoned deductively that when their daytime operating hours of the solar panel establishment is done, they would be converted into an underground radio station, commencing daily operation from 9:00 p.m. until the wee hours of the morning.

According to Ian Santos, he believed that they are not classified as a low-power station (≤20 watts) as he estimated the transmission power of 250-500 watts.

In short, they operate a clandestine pirate station. They are illegal under Act No. 3846 and it may interfere their neighbors’ frequencies. In this case, it may affect Home Radio 97.9 and the classical music station DZFE 98.7.

So, how will they stop and taste the arm of the law?

Learn from the news item from UNTV’s Ito Ang Balita last July 8, 2013.

The police and the NTC will raid and padlock the premises and confiscate their equipment. If the erring personnel have been named and have been known, they will be fined 300 pesos and will be sentenced for three months in jail.

In this case, so much for being the die-hard supporters of President Rodrigo Duterte (or DDS) like Mr. Cruz that they can’t even discipline themselves, especially in complying the common broadcast laws. That said, their new slogan upon their hopeful prevailing justice will be taunted vocally, “Kontra droga pa man, pirata pala naman” or possibly place a cardboard written in a permanent marker, “Pirata ako, ‘wag tularan.”

However, the Turf is not done just yet, because we need to share the thoughts on how that anti-pirate radio law is working this year:

It’s lamentable how the said penalty imposed a ridiculous amount and term is fined and served right now since it was passed back then: P 300 before is worth thousands of pesos in today’s terms and three months — classified under arresto mayor — is rather a short sentence for an imprisonment over this nominal delict.

Although the Congress has the constitutional right to amend the existing law to impose even more stiff penalties on radio piracy, the author thinks that they have to serve progressively up to prision correcional (up to six years).

Nevertheless, the monitoring of unexpected happenings in the radio spectrum shall not cease after this case is solved.


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Photos courtesy of Facebook. Screenshot courtesy of the author.

Should the Philippines impose a license fee like the BBC?

[WRITER’S WARNING: This post may not be suitable for readers who have lack of certain academic merits and may cause political tensions. Serious yet friendly discussion is advised. Dedicated to Jerick Ilagan, John Rodrigo Diaz Valdez, Adrian Conoza and George Boone.]

bbc-studios

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is recognizable and reputable throughout the world but for the Brits’ point of view, it’s their public broadcaster and they pay for it to sustain through an annual fixed fee.

THE BBC in the United Kingdom will impose a hike after seven years of license fee freeze from £145.50 (~₱ 8,990) to £147 (~₱ 9,080), beginning April 1. Such fees from households will be used to sustain their public broadcaster. This iteration also applies to the rest of Europe. However, can you imagine if the Filipino households hold the same when it debuts? Time to share the Turf’s thought.

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Philippine TV’s Seven Deadly Sins

Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.

Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.

Today is ASH WEDNESDAY, the first day of the penitential season of Lent.

For the simple yet observant faithful, it’s the opening salvo of the season of giving up luxuries, fasting and abstinence from meat (save fish and seafood). For the very pious, it’s also the heralding period to line up for confession and to seek repentance and reparation from such transgressions.

In the spirit, Timow’s Turf will tackle on this topic — the seven deadly sins — and how will it intertwine with the current situation on our television landscape.

The deadly or cardinal sins were inspired loosely from the Scriptures: Book of Proverbs (6:16-19) in the Old Testament and St. Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians (5:19-21) in the New; Pope Gregory I codified the standard seven in AD 590.

For each sin, one or two network/s is leading and certain reasons are given why they’re qualified. However, some definitions of each vice are not to be taken solely from the ordinary dictionary’s interpretation but on spiritual reasoning as well.

Jump in for each revelation.

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Ending Timow’s Turf

Dear readers:

I can’t sleep.

Both now and 5 years ago. In 2011, I can’t sleep because of the deceptive 15-minute YouTube video with their professional editing but never-ending nauseating attacks that favors their agenda and motive. Today, it’s because of the Supreme Court’s decision in favor of burying Marcos in the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

Because of that, I decided to post a new article — a personal one.

Based on statistics, my Turf barely made comment and viewership involvement throughout 2016 . I admit, it’s because of the treatise-like treatment. I hope you’ll give me some after reading this.

I’m supposed to schedule this 144th post to commemorate the 7th anniversary of the Maguindanao massacre. It was supposed be about the fake news on social media and it’s response. It would’ve been indeed a timely article and why it’s no better than what happened back then.

However, the instinct of urgency triggered me to do away with it but I will share my sentiments of what would’ve been my upcoming post in one powerful sentence:

The difference between then and now is that the culture of impunity is no longer on the hands of a political dynasty’s 3Gs (goons, guns and gold) but on millions online with followers, keyboards and coins.

The quote really fits the situation just now. It seems the misguided mob is triumphant and there’s nothing else we can do as they are always right and we’re always wrong. They have sold their own dignified and respectful soul that was formed for many years of formal schooling to the devil. Soon, they will feel their remorse but they can’t recover what they traded.

However, our resistance, no matter how hard we try, is futile with their sprouting legions. If it’s regression analysis, it’s either exponential, linear or logarithmic but never quadratic.

Because of the recent developments yesterday, which is beyond my control and deemed irreversible, I formally tendered my resignation letter to Gab Hernandez and to the Pinoy Nostalgia admins. In addition, I am currently considering my resignation to Gregory Maximinian on PHTV Group and hopefully, to Jayson Bustamante — despite the political differences — on the Radio counterpart.

My loss there will be yours as well, except the fanatics, bashers and bigots.

What will my Turf do now?

I still have some writing commitments for Christmas and the New Year in their own separate articles. Though in the middle of 2017, I will formally end it and keep it as a repository of future bloggers.

Although, I am ready to cease publishing earlier and I am ready to die if any of the content is “subversive” but I’ll dedicate my blood for the good of the sane, objective and dignified people.

My dear Turfers, I’m sorry to cause harm and I can’t continue longer inasmuch my true colors shine more in an even darker chapter that is more in store.

To Ralph Domingo, I am sorry to hear this bad news from me after 3 years of friendly discussion.

To Kevin Trinidad, even though Gregory criticized you, I am sorry.

To the names etched in the Wall of Remembrance in Bantayog ng mga Bayani, I failed you.

To the statues in Mendiola and Ayala, I am sorry for your sacrifices are now meaningless.

To the graves of Letty Jimenez-Magsanoc, Betty Go Belmonte, Chino Roces, June Keithley, et al., we are sorry for the rolling in on your graves.

To the landmarks who dedicate their lives against tyranny, we’re sorry as your dedication is now all wasted to vanity.

But what can we do now? We never learn and never will anymore. We are doomed to repeat it.

I hope you respect my decision as long as you have such respect to others.

~ Timow P

State of the Philippine Television Address 2016

(Note: This address serves both as part of the 63rd anniversary of Philippine television and as a thank you post for reaching 50,000 hits last Tuesday.)

MY DEAR READERS:

Timow’s Turf was made for insights on Philippine television programming whatever possible as a complement to other bloggers. Lately this year, I made some changes for a more comprehensive thinking and sentiments — that’s why I posted roughly every two weeks with thousands of words.

Moving right along, I am addressing today to untangle the perennial complicated cesspool that indoctrinated us to follow the false dilemma fallacy and senseless and triumphant fanaticism that contributed the endless decades-long competitive hostility.

Such symptoms do not only happen right now in our Government — particularly, under the new administration — but it happened since time immemorial in this different field. In short, the state of Philippine television is adverse.

Words cannot be said kung bakit sinasabi ko na “adverse.” Maraming reklamo at may karapat na tugon. I can enumerate some of them.

Noong Abril, nalipat ang Family Feud sa Dos at ang host ay si Luis Manzano. Maganda nga sana pero puro celebrities ang naglalaro unlike those in then ABC-5 and GMA. Sa mga gustong sumabak sa Family Feud, tough luck. Hanggang audience ka na lang. This is not new for young Manzano’s game show hosting; remember Deal or No Deal and Minute to Win It? Usually celebrities ang contestant at nananalo. Are you treating us as mere pawns? Are you stereotypical that ordinary Filipinos are mismanaged with finances after receiving cash prizes? I hate neither the player nor the game; I hate the treatment. Mahiya ka naman, hindi na ka-level sa tatay niya (Edu) noon bilang host sa Pilipinas Game KNB kapalit ni Kris Aquino.

With that, we will NEVER have the chance to have our own franchise of Jeopardy. May intelligentsia pero hindi condescending dito sa mundo pero sad to say, lumalaganap dito ang herd mentality on smart-shaming.

Last month, nagtaas ng kilay ang mga netizens at si Stephen Amell na bida sa Arrow over Alyas Robin Hood sa GMA before the premiere. Character similarities, props (especially a toy water gun for flamethrower) and computerized effects proved us for a call of reformation in the entertainment division and programming. We are sick of carbon-copy concepts and relying old guns for them and at the same time, excessive cliché and banking tandems in a relatively same genre and story arc model for another.

8List is good on this enumeration and few bloggers have been spoken especially For the Love of Pop who has a frank hope to improve but would Ma. Lourdes Santos (COO, Star Creatives) and Lilybeth Rasonable ever listened to us or kept us dumb down?

Getting it real, our South Triangle-based entities disregarded our better ideas for their original catering audience, the masa, with their marginal mindset — an economic adjective that defines their short-term thinking, shallow reflection, temporary satisfaction and no penchant for patience.

They tend to disregard the trend of the burgeoning millennials’ taste in programming and listened only to themselves and the masses. Though, I can forgive ABS-CBN with certain conditions. Yung mga millennials na may laptop, pwedeng panoorin watch Netflix o via torrent containing new and existing U.S. shows and chill.

Nasobra na tayo sa teleserye mula late morning hanggang gabi, every weekday. May proposal naman ako na for new soaps after approving the pitch: reduce teleserye airings from weeknight basis to two days gradually. Afternoon soaps may remain on weekly basis. Friday nights will be dedicated for more specials and films.

Give more projects with varying genres for new ones or those who are well rested. Kamuning, take note. Maraming talents ka pero wala namang papel. Na-una ang mga matatanda kaysa sa baguhan. Ayun, walang or madalang na advertisements na galing sa inyo ang nag-endorse.

Speaking of talents, exclusive mentality is unfortunately mandatory for thespians and not at their option. Picture this, I never heard of J. Lo or any Hollywood artist signing an exclusive contract with any US television network, only the music label independent from any broadcaster’s influence. Sadly, this doesn’t apply here — kung Star Music artist ka, ABS-CBN talent ka rin hanggang magsawa ka.

Let’s set aside with the never-ending war between ABS and GMA and focus on TV5. Anyare? Tapos na ang Olympics at malapit na ang pagtatapos ng PBA season. Anyway, you’re no sacred cow to everything — well, in entertainment and in news. The former needs no explanation because on how MVP favor sports — no wonder, Coach Chot Reyes is heading his media network — and dissolved local entertainment but the latter needs an explanation.

Most of the news correspondents have been hired to the Duterte government from Martin Andanar, Cherie Mercado, and recently Mia Reyes. Aside from that, Ralph Domingo observed that you snubbed the coverage on committee hearings in both houses of Congress related to War on Drugs within a month now on AksyonTV. He questioned so hard than what News TV’s response just last week.

You just favored your News FM programs than the most important coverage and Luchi Cruz-Valdes and Gladys Lana-Lucas deserved a lot of explanation and complaints.

I heard LCV will get an Excellence in Broadcasting Award? Sa PiliPinas Debates, I can give that a yes but in management and editorial policy especially right now made me shrug in doubt.

As long I don’t want to resort more in the Big 3’s problems, I am also displeased that with this never-ending war comes neglect in the rest of VHF frequency, and I need to expose it — save CNN Philippines.

PTV is constantly unpredictable; it always has been. Pinangako ni Digong na gagawin ito into a more editorially-independent public broadcaster noong unang SONA. It’s good to hear and to identify the revenue generation but one question, though. What TV specials will the Visayas Avenue ever do aside those from government coverage?

Meanwhile, her sister IBC 13 began another amateur college basketball league called UCBL with Asian Television Content Corporation. Pero based on historical transactions with ATC, it will not last long after this inaugural season dahil sa lumolobong utang. Speaking of utang, sinabi ni PCO Sec. Martin Andanar na 956 billion pesos na sweldo ang hindi nabayaran. Tapos, anong available na pambayad: 10 milyon?

In case you don’t know,  nakabinbin na ang kapalaran ng Broadcast City: either privatize or transform into a Lumad channel. Not to mention, ililipat ang transmitter to an undisclosed location costing 150 million pesos. Apektado ang analog receivers kung nangyari. Pero nakakahiya talaga, naisip ko tuloy sa nangyari sa Hong Kong na hindi ni-renew ang franchise ng ATV dahil sa mga unsettled claims at mahinang reputasyon. Kung sana ganyan ang tularan sa KBP at NTC, OK na ako diyan but then again, our administration barely cared about economics and competition.

Dito sa UHF, may sari-sariling specialization for certain niche of audience. But one of them is just giving us empty promises and vain hope, especially on Channel 35. He promised for a relaunch pero walang alam kung kailan. Ilang taon na tayo ang hihintayin bago talagang mangyari? Hihintayin ba tayo na terminated na ang analog television dito come 2020? If so, napako na ng pangako ni Bro. Mike; walang pinagkaiba sa mga pulitiko.

Overall, we all want internal and lasting reformation in each one of them and to another. Sa Amerika, kahit oligopoly ang broadcast industry, may respeto naman sila sa karibal. Pero dito sa Pilipinas, kung anong mali o krisis ng ibang istasyon, ibinubulgar at dinedemonize. Kamakailan lang po, nagkaroon ng two presidential debates that is moderated by at most two from different entities in different means. Kung sana ganun nangyari noong kampanya, OK sana. Kaso, nakalipas na at wala rin, eh — exclusivity mentality triumphs.

Lastly, we will go on to the inner circle’s judgment on who wins. I would like to give rise to this.

The Philippine Movie Press Club (PMPC) will award the 30th Star Awards for Television next Sunday. Pero alam ko, nagsawa na kayo diyan kasi sa pinapaborang istasyon dahil nandyan ang trails of cash. Hindi katulad ng dating gawi sa Channel 9 at 13 noong dekada 90. Two years ago, I made my case for a rotation of broadcasters similar those in Emmy’s but because of such trail in Mother Ignacia, parang worthless ang suggestion. No wonder, Mr. Sunday knew that club’s influence lead us to their favoritism.

To Chairman Fernan de Guzman, the cesspool of yours will be your very last. If our President can’t change his behavior and style anymore, then change must come for the better for the organization. Do us a favor; give a more independent officers and members a chance.

That said, libre talaga lang mangarap pero malaki ang balakid na walang hanggan napapatayo kaysa matutumba. Ang daming good intentions na planned out to see the real “change is coming” for the better in this industry to start with — pero dahil tuloy ang bingi-bingian at bulag-bulagan.

We are not here only to share experiences and insights but we are here also to untangle the tentacles that complicates.

We have so many solutions but with the growth of smart shaming herd, we will all be defeated and make our efforts go to waste. If they never listen, whatever happens in another year and until the digital TV transition completes — God forbid our kismet — a bigger ripple and domino effect can give us even more loss of words.

Thank you and may you have a hopefully better day ahead.


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Holy Week Message 2015

Jesus carrying the Cross

DEAR TURFERS:

You thought that I am writing an April fool’s joke; unfortunately, this year is not the fitting time to do so.

Every Holy Week, we reflect the last week of Our Lord’s earthly life: from His triumphal entry in Jerusalem to His death on the Cross in Calvary. On this part of the year, we unravel His Paschal Mystery and His mission of laying His own life for the salvation of humanity.

On this blog, the mission plan was almost modeled from the meaning of this hebdomad: laying down the thoughts on what we see on TV for the readers to reframe and to reflect on their minds for the sake of equality.

At this point, Holy Week is the best time to cease attacking other major and underdog networks, which can ruin the dignity of respect of others who are your brothers with their diverse choices to take.

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this spiritual respite, I pray that the mission of Jesus of laying down our lives for the good of others will not be in vain.

To other Christians who do not observe Holy Week, I pray that you will learn how to bow down before Him and learn how to serve Him through faith and good actions.

To those who do not believe in God, I pray and wish that you will be enlightened and you will learn how to stay humble and to treat each other fairly.

I pray also for the people who will be harnessed by Super Typhoon “Chedeng” (international name: Maysak) this long weekend in the eastern part of the country to stay safe.

May the Good Lord bless you on these sacred days.

NOTE: Timow’s Turf will take a writing respite until Easter.


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PMPC Star Awards for TV 2014 on ABS-CBN (Again!)

This is one of the trophies to be awarded on PMPC Star Awards for TV, or the Holy Grail of Philippine entertainment TV. (This trophy was awarded in 2008.)

This is one of the trophies to be awarded on PMPC Star Awards for TV, or the Holy Grail of Philippine entertainment TV. (This trophy pictured above was awarded in 2008.)

[Author’s note: Please feel free to differ on The Turf’s prediction of winners of this year’s PMPC Star Awards.]

THE PHILIPPINE ENTERTAINMENT PORTAL (PEP) has released its nominees on respective nominations for the 28th PMPC Star Awards for Television last night.

The said award, established in 1987 by the Philippine Movie Press Club, is the Philippine equivalent of the USA’s Emmy Awards. Unlike the latter that awards separate dayparts (Daytime and Primetime) on separate dates, the Star Awards award all daypart categories (and more) in one night.

The awarding of this edition will be on Sunday, November 23 at Solaire Resorts and Casino, Paranaque City and will be televised on ABS-CBN’s Sunday Best a week after.

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