Kapatiran files complaint vs ABS-CBN
By Sheila Crisostomo
The Philippine Star
MANILA, Philippines – The Ang Kapatiran Party (AKP) yesterday sought to penalize the ABS-CBN broadcasting network for alleged discrimination in their coverage of candidates.
AKP president Eric Manalang filed a petition before the Commission on Elections (Comelec) accusing ABS-CBN of violating the Fair Elections Act in discriminating against party vice presidential candidate Dominador Chipeco Jr.
Manalang filed the complaint before Comelec Law Department director Ferdinand Rafanan, pointing out that ABS-CBN deliberately excluded Chipeco from a vice presidential debate they had organized.
“We had noticed that ABS-CBN, during the course of its coverage of our party’s campaign activities for public information, is being selective and at times outright discriminating against the Ang Kapatiran and its candidates,” Manalang said.
Manalang said the AKP was forced to file the complaint following the incident which, he said, resulted in many of their members, candidates and supporters being “disturbed” by the events.
“We take legal action against this continuing unfairness. Some had even lost interest to continue supporting us,” Manalang said.
Manalang submitted a letter addressed to Maria Ressa, managing director of ABS-CBN News Channel, requesting her action on the exclusion of Chipeco in the forum last March 21.
“Our demand for rectification, public correction and a formal reply was ignored. Again we felt discriminated against,” he said.
ABS-CBN corporate communications chief Bong Osorio, on the other hand, said they cannot issue a statement since they have yet to receive a copy of the complaint.
“We have not received a copy of the complaint so we cannot issue any reaction. Rest assured that ABS-CBN will continue the ‘Harapan’ series of debates. Just because they were not included doesn’t mean they won’t be included in the future,” Osorio said.
Earlier, Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (KBL) vice presidential candidate Jay Sonza filed a complaint before the Comelec accusing ABS-CBN of violating the Fair Elections Act (Republic Act 9006) by excluding him from the same debate.
Sonza said he decided to file the complaint because of the refusal of the organizers to include him in the Harapan debate.
He said his exclusion from the debate constitutes a clear violation of the Fair Elections Act. – With Perseus Echeminada