[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.]
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.
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.
Photos courtesy of Facebook. Screenshot courtesy of the author.