Two former RGMA employees came out in TV Patrol last night, February 1, 2008, to shore up the alleged ratings manipulation done by GMA Network.
Romie Diamanse, formerprogram director and OIC-station manager of Campus Radio (an FM radiostation owned and operated by GMA Network, Inc.) in Iloilo, and Francis Casumpang, also a former program director of Campus Radio, cited the alleged involvement of broadcaster and RGMA President Mike Enriquez in GMA-7's "special operations" to manipulate media ratings in the provinces of Iloilo and Bacolod.
Both claimed that Kapuso network spends 20,000 to 30,000 pesos per month for legitimate promotional activities. But the cost shoots up to as much as 200,000 pesos due to the "special operations." Expenses cover fuel costs, jeepney rentals, cell phone cards for runners, and bribes for survey company insiders.
"Hindi lang yung radio, yung DYFI sa amin, yung GMA radio or Campus Radio sa Iloilo yung pinapakinggan ninyo. Dapat yung TV Station din, dapat ay GMA 6. Survey periods for TV, eh, naiba for radio. So, they just attend to the field coordinators sa TV. And they just tell me, ‘Okay na, dude...okay na kahit yung TV sa atin," Casumpang said.
If the covered area is bigger, the budget is increased.
He added, "Kung meron ngang tao na medyo considered na leader sa specific or identified survey area sa sasabihin niya, bibilhin natin iyan kahit magkano. He can name or she can name his or the price. Basta, he or she can assure na magiging number one tayo sa area niyan."
Diamanse affirmed Casumpang's allegations. He also said that GMA 6 Iloilo and Campus Radio share manpower to conduct the "special operations." Radio and TV surveys were done on separate periods.
"Sinundan namin...Lahat halos ng lugar sa buong Iloilo ginalugad namin, kumilos kami. Humingi sila ng permiso kung puwede magkabit ng electronic device for monitoring purposes," Diamanse said.
Casumpang said that orders were issued by a certain Jonatahan Cabillo, a station manager for TV in Iloilo.
Cabillon was previously identified by Fred Alejaga, one of the three witnesses previously presented by ABS-CBN and also a former station manager of Super Radyo Bacolod.
It will be recalled that Alejaga presented documents, specifically a Powerpoint presentation, showing that legitimate and "special operations" were conducted separately to assure that RGMA's ratings would increase in the province. He also said that GGMA-Manila had given the "special operations" a go-signal.
Alejaga claimed that the instruction to them was, "Media coordinators kayo. Binibigyan din natin yung ating mga assets sa barangay. So there's no way na hindi tayo magta-top o mag-number one sa radio survey. ‘Pag nahuli yung special ops, deny. This is a legitimate promotional activity, so kami namimigay lang ng gift for our loyal listeners or viewers."
This was seconded by another witness, Donard Nojas: "Alam talaga ni Mike Enriquez yun. Dahil ang katulad sa akin, I was receiving instructions from our vice president for AM operations, ni Ma'am Susan Alino, who was based in Cebu. So, si Ma'am Susan naman ang nag-report kay Sir Mike."
The former RGMA employees said they no longer believe in the ratings, and advised the advertisers to conduct independent surveys instead of relying on the data supplied by media research firms.