GMA-7 President Felipe Gozon to ABS-CBN informers: prove your claims in court

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GMA Network believes that anyone can hire mercenaries to say what they want said. But proving the truth of their statements is another matter. That is why GMA Network wants to ferret out the truth in court rather than be subjected to ABS-CBN's trial by publicity where there are no rules.

Right after the interview of Mark Dumago, an alleged informant, was aired on the primetime newscast of TV Patrol World last night, January 11, GMA-7 immediately addressed the issue via a statement: "GMA Network categorically denies that it hired persons to conduct alleged ratings tampering operations in Bacolod City or anywhere else in the country."

Later tonight, new witnesses from Cebu, Iloilo, and Davao will also appear on TV Patrol Sabado to describe the reported bribery of GMA-7 officials among selected household in the mentioned provinces.

Dumago's testimony alleged that he and other persons were hired to offer the selected survey households P500 or grocery items monthly to switch the TV dial in favor of GMA-7 programs.

But GMA-7 remains firm. “There’s nothing new. It’s still dubious and inconsistentwith known facts,” said its statement released at 6:10 in the evening today.

Here's the rest of Kapuso network's reaction to the allegations of Dumago:

"Mark Dumago from Bacolod,first revealed his face in an interview on TV Patrol last Friday, January 11.Then conveniently, right after the Dumago interview, on various weekendprograms of ABS-CBN, other informants from Cebu, Davao and Iloilo were also interviewed, but with theirfaces blurred.

"All ABS-CBN informants appeared either blurred or in silhouette in pastinterviews—some with designed amber lighting and religious props—whichhave aired repeatedly on ABS-CBN programs and plugs. On TV Patrol last Friday,Dumago from Bacolod—finally revealed his faceto the public—but his rehashed testimony was nothing new.

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"Dumago’s testimony was almost identical to the testimonies of new ABS-CBNinformants from Cebu, Davaoand Iloilo. All continued to claim that GMA NETWORK allegedly hired them tomanipulate AGB Nielsen ratings. Dumago’s testimony is the backbone ofthe suit for damages recently filed by ABS-CBN against AGB Nielsen. That casewas dismissed by the Quezon City Regional Trial Court.

"ABS-CBN now faces an indirect contempt charge from AGB Neilsen. AGB Nielsensaid in its petition that ABS CBN distorted the meaning of a temporaryrestraining order issued by the court.

"GMA NETWORK, for its part, is determined to pursue libel charges againstABS-CBN for its repeated, malicious attempts to damage the reputation of GMA byfalsely claiming that AGB Nielsen named GMA as the party behind alleged ratingsmanipulation. AGB Nielsen, through its lawyer, Atty. Francisco Rivera, alreadydenied that AGB Nielsen named GMA Network and instead pointed to ABS-CBN as theone who named GMA NETWORK.

"Despite ABS-CBN’s increasingly desperate attempts to blacken the reputation ofGMA NETWORK by broadcasting malicious allegations, GMA NETWORK’s desire remainsconsistent : to ferret out the truth in court --- rather than besubjected to ABS-CBN’s trial by publicity.

"National advertisers also want the matter to be settled in court. In a recenttrade presentation of GMA Network, advertisers appealed to both GMA and ABS-CBNnot to allow the issue to continue as an ugly war of unproven allegations,detrimental to both the television industry and the viewing public.

"In that trade presentation, GMA Network President and CEO, Atty. Felipe Gozonpointed out that GMA did not draw first blood, but of course, must defend itselfagainst the well orchestrated and systematic demolition job that ABS-CBN haslaunched. The latest salvo of which are the interviews of informants fromBacolod, Cebu, Davao and Iloilo with almost identical testimonies, that alreadypreviously aired on several ABS CBN programs.

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"GMA Network believes that anyone can hire mercenaries to say what they wantsaid. But proving the truth of their statements is another matter. That is whyGMA Network wants to ferret out the truth in court rather than be subjected toABS-CBN’s trial by publicity where there are no rules."

Gozon’s challenge to ABS CBN: "Let Dumago and the other so called informers ofABS CBN, prove the veracity of their testimonies in court so the public canfinally find out who is really telling truth and who is just spinning maliciouslies."


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