FIRST READ ON PEP: GMA-7 plans to sue DZMM and ABS-CBN for libel

GMA Network is now in the process of filing libel cases against DZMM reporter Junrie Hidalgo and his home network, ABS-CBN, after he reported that the Kapuso network is behind the alleged cheating and tampering of the ratings gathering in the province of Bacolod.



ABS-CBN should expect a Christmas stocking full of suits from GMA-7.

Isang emergency presscon ang ipinatawag ng GMA-7 kaninang umaga, December 20, regarding the official statement na ipinalabas ng Kapuso network kagabi, December 19, patungkol sa DZMM report na ginawa ni Junrie Hidalgo—kung saan tahasang itinuturo raw ng AGB Nielsen Media Research Philippines ang GMA-7 na nasa likod ng dayaan ng ratings sa Bacolod.;,,

Sina Ms. Rikki Escudero, GMA Head of Regional TV and AVP for Expansion and Production Services; Atty. Dick Perez; VP for Legal Affairs; and Ms. Ruth Lejarde, VP for Research, ang humarap sa entertainment press after an early lunch.

Binasa ni Ms. Escudero ang official statement na lumabas na rin dito sa PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) kagabi, emphatically punctuating every point the statement raises.

Pagkatapos nito, ‘tsaka nagkaroon ng general question-and-answer portion.

Ang unang itinanong, kung bakit magkaiba ang naging action ng GMA-7 at ABS-CBN regarding their AGB Nielsen complaint. Matatandaan kasing four years ago pa ay nagku-complain na ang GMA-7 sa AGB Nielsen dahil hindi sa maipaliwanag na dahilan tungkol sa disparity ng cable at non-cable ratings ng GMA programs. Samantala, kasabay ng reklamo ng ABS-CBN na may anomalya diumano sa resulta ng ratings sa Bacolod ay ang pagsasampa nila ng P63-million civil case against AGB Nielsen.

"We did the responsible thing. We don't want to do trial by publicity," sagot ni Ms. Escudero.

Isang important point ang ni-raise ni Ms. Escudero: there is no local GMA-7 TV station in Bacolod.

"We don't even have a [TV] station in Bacolod. All we have there is a radio station. For several years, we have not been very active in the production areas. Ngayon lang kami muli nagpapapakilala, introducing ourselves," paliwanag niya.

Matatandaang sa Bacolod ang source ng complaint ng ABS-CBN sa AGB Nielsen, kung saan isang informant daw na may connection sa GMA-7 ang naging source.

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"You should never be premature in your actions. Anyone can introduce themselves as a GMA employee but we need evidence," sabi ni Ms. Escudero.

Ang pinakahihintay ng mga press na dumalo ay kung ano ang immediate action ng GMA-7 tungkol dito.

"We have already referred this to our legal department," sagot ni Atty. Perez.

Pressed for a more specific answer, Atty. Perez said that they will file libel cases. Kung kailan, "soon" ang sagot niya.

"It should not be long. It might even be before Christmas, so Merry Christmas to one and all," pahayag ni Atty. Perez.

Pagkatapos ng general Q&A, tinanong ng PEP si Atty. Perez kung puwede pa siyang maging specific kung sino ang mga binabalak nilang idemanda.

"Junrie [Hidalgo], of course, and whoever is connected," sagot ni Atty. Perez.

We asked kung kasama rin ang DZMM at ABS-CBN and he said "yes."


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