GMA Network files P15-million civil case against ABS-CBN

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(From left) GMA Counsels Atty. Pierre Cantara and Atty. Gener Asuncion, Regional TV head Ms. Rikki Escudero, and VP for Legal Affairs Atty. Dick Perez formally filed civil charge against ABS-CBN earlier today, January 3, at the Quezon City Regional Trial Court.



Nagsampa ng P15-million civil case ang GMA Network Inc. laban sa ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corp. ngayong umaga, January 3, sa Quezon City Regional Trial Court dahil sa diumano'y maling alegasyon ng Kapamilya Network kaugnay ng pagmamanipula sa ratings.

"It's a civil action for the defamation done by ABS-CBN against GMA. There was series of on the air fabrication of statements imputing GMA 7 as behind the alleged rigging, manipulation of TV ratings in Bacolod City," sabi ni GMA Network legal counsel Gener Asuncion.

Ayon sa GMA Network, sa P15 million ay P10 million ang mapupunta sa moral damages, P2.5 million para sa exemplary damages, P1.5 million for attorney's fees, at P1 million para sa litigation expenses.

Bukod sa ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corp., ang iba pang respondents na pinangalanan sa civil action suit ay sina: dzMM stations manager Angelo Palmones, and dzMM news manager Alona Magsalas, dzMM reporter Junrie Hidalgo; radio program Teledyaryo hosts Jobert Sucaldito and Cristie Fermin; television program Bandila production head Luchi Cruz Valdez; Bandila executive producer Boyet Agustin.



Kasama rin sa sinampahan sina ABS-CBN head of legal department Atty. Maximillan Uy; Bandila host Korina Sanchez; Entertainment Live and The Buzz production heads Malou Santos and Luis Andrada; Entertainment Live executive producer Lani Gutierrez; The Buzz and Entertainment Live headwriter Romer Gonzales; The Buzz executive producer Nancy Yabut; at The Buzz headwriter Ian Reyno.

"In reckless disregard of truth, with malice, and in bad faith, and with obvious intent to defame the plaintiff and ridicule it before the public, defendant ABS-CBN distorted, spliced off, and suppressed the accurate and complete statements of Ms. Reforma and made it appear that plaintiff rigged, manipulated the ratings in Bacolod City and that Ms. Reforma admitted in that ambush interview that plaintiff was behind ratings manipulation," pahayag ng GMA Network sa kanilang charge sheet tungkol sa radio interview ng dzMM kay AGB Nielsen managing director Maya Reforma.

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"Plaintiff has never engaged in manipulation or rigging of ratings in Bacolod City, as alleged by ABS-CBN, or elsewhere to obtain or secure its No. 1 status in the ratings," giit ng GMA Network.

Ayon pa sa GMA Network, sa isa sa mga report ng ABS-CBN ay iniulat nito na pinangalanan diumano ng ratings firm na AGB Nielsen ang GMA-7 bilang utak sa likod ng panunuhol sa metered households sa Bacolod para panoorin ang mga programa ng Kapuso network at impluwensiyahan ang ratings.

Sa kanilang charge sheet, sinabi rin ng GMA Network na inulit pa sa iba't ibang radio at television na pagmamay-ari ABS-CBN ang mga akusasyon laban sa GMA Network.

Sa naunang statement nito, sinabi ng GMA Network na sa report ng dzMM reporter na si Junrie Hidalgo ay inanggulahan nito na "AGB Nielsen umamin sa dayaan, GMA Network tahasang itinuro sa likod ng dayaan."

Iginiit ng GMA Network legal counsel na si Atty. Dick Perez na ang partikular na linya ang sa tingin ng Kapuso network ay libelous.

Matatandaang pinabulaanan na ng GMA Network ang naturang report, at iginiit din nila na ang mismong opisyales ng AGB Nielsen ay itinanggi ang report, at nilinis ang pangalan ng GMA-7 sa akusasyon.



"This strong denial by GMA Network comes at the heels of radio commentaries, news reports on TV and print falsely claiming that AGB named GMA Network as the network allegedly behind the TV ratings manipulation," sabi ng GMA Network sa disclosure nito sa Philippine Stock Exchange.

"The affidavit in court submitted by Maya Reforma of AGB Nielsen belied such accusation against GMA Network," sabi pa ng GMA Network, at idingadag pa nito na sa affidavit ni Reforma ay nagpapakita na ang ratings data ng AGB Nielsen ay nananatiling "accurate and reliable, untainted by alleged bribery operations."

Kinukuwestiyon ng ABS-CBN ang authenticity ng television ratings data na inilalabas araw-araw ng AGB Nielsen Media Research Philippines pagkatapos lumapit ng isang informant sa Kapamilya network at sinabi nitong ang mga metered households sa Bacolod ay naimpluwensiyahan ng third party, na nakaapekto diumano sa viewing behavior ng sampled groups.

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Dahil dito, nag-isyu ang Quezon City Regional trial Court ng TRO (Temprorary Restraining Order) sa AGB Nielsen sa loob ng 20 araw. Ngunit sa kabila nito ay patuloy pa rin ang pagpapalabas ng AGB Nielsen ng rating sa Mega Manila, dahil ayon sa kanila ay sa Bacolod lamang ang nasasakupan ng TRO at hindi ang iba pang panig ng bansa.


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