After Mark Dumago from Bacolod, two more witnesses of ABS-CBN on the alleged TV ratings anomaly faced the camera to show their identity tothe public yesterday, January 20, in The Buzz.
"Nagagalit ako kasi sinungaling daw kaming mga witness, hindinaman naglantad sa camera," explained Nonalyn Valles, one of the witnesses allegedly tapped by GMA-7 to change their TV viewing habit.
She added, "Gawa-gawa lang daw ng [ABS-CBN] yun,binabayaran daw kami. Nainsulto kamikasi sa eleksyon, ang boto binibili pati yung ratings binibili, TV ratingsbinibili pa rin."
Last week, January 12, three witnesses from Cebu, Davao, andIloilo claim that people from GMA-7 asked them to switch their channel to GMA-7in exchange for groceries, giveaways, and even payment for their electricbill.
Meanwhile, in Cebu, an unidentified witness said thatsomeone from AGB Nielsen encouraged him to have a metering device attached tohis TV set and requested to tune in only to GMA-7.
The male witness said,"Ini-encourage niya kami na subukan ang Siete, na manood sa GMA. Nag-promisesila na kapag na-install na, bibigyan kami ng appliances at P500-plus monthly.Pero sabi nila, kung puwede karamihan sa panonoorin namin ay GMA talaga."
The witness added, "Ang sabi nila, Nielsen daw sila.Ang sabi ko, ‘Klaro na ang style n'yo ay inuutusan talaga kayo ng Siete.' Sabiniya, ‘Hindi. Tingnan mo pa yung papers namin, o, AGB Nielsen.'"
Mark Dumago confirmed this statementin a separate interview. He said, "Mayroon ding ibang area, city, na ginagawa ito. Katulad ng sa Iloilo, wala na raw silangproblema kasi sa AGB mayroon na silang insider na tauhan ng AGB mismo. Yung insider, ang ginagawa, yun angnagbibigay ng impormasyon sa kanila kung saan. Mas madali nilang mahanap yung meters sa bahay kasi may contact sila saloob."
In connection to this, another witness named Toto Aliguin pleaded with GMA-7 toinvestigate on this matter. He said,"Nananawagan ako sa [GMA-7] na mag-investigate sila doon sa Iloilo mismo. Baka hindi alam nila na tao nila ang maykagagawan."
PRESS FREEDOM. Last Tuesday, January 15, representativesfrom ABS-CBN and GMA-7 met up in court for the Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) thatthe latter had requested. GMA-7 wantedABS-CBN to stop airing news that reportedly involve their network on the allegedratings anomaly.
ABS-CBN lawyers objected to thisrequest, saying it's a suppression of the press freedom.
Atty. Regis Puno, lawyer of ABS-CBN,argued, "There are serious implications on the freedom of the press. You cannot be prevented from reporting thenews, 'no? It's a little dishearteningthat the motion to stop airing the news comes itself from the mediaorganization as well."
He added, "It's a gag order, youcannot report. What about thetruth? Should not the truth come out?"
GMA-7 network, on the other hand,reasoned out that it does not intend to suppress freedom of the press. Atty. Gener Asuncion, legal representativeof GMA-7, stressed, "We are only after the protection of our rights."
However, two days after this hearing,January 17, the court suspended the TRO after Judge Samuel Gaerlaninhibited himself from the said case.
Reports said that ABS-CBN requestedthe judge to inhibit himself from the case after they found out that his cousin works for theABS-CBN's legal department. This movewas done to avoid suspicion from both camps.
Atty. Puno further explained, "Hesaid he voluntarily inhibited himself so that there will be no question or therewill be no... even appearance of any impropriety."
ABS-CBN clarified that they did not intend to fight with GMA-7. The network also said that they justwanted to clear the process of data gathering for the TV ratings.