Cayetano Gets TRO vs ABS-CBN Over Anti-Duterte Ad, Complains His Own Ad Was Blocked

TRO vs ABS-CBN anti Duterte ad

Senator Alan Peter Cayetano has secured a temporary restraining order (TRO) vs ABS-CBN, instructing the Kapamilya network to stop airing the so-called anti-Duterte ad. The said political ad video started to be aired on TV this Thursday night, and received tons of criticisms, not only from the supporters of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo ‘Rody’ Duterte.

The said TRO was issued by the Regional Trial Court of Taguig City, and was addressed to ABS-CBN chairman Eugenio “Gabby” Lopez III, Augusto Almeda-Lopez, Carlo Katigbak, Socorro Vidanes, and August Benitez. It was issued this Friday, May 6, a day after Sen. Cayetano filed a petition for preliminary injunction against the network.

Based on the court’s ruling, the anti-Duterte ad “shows minors being used in black propaganda,” and that “it must be suppressed at once, as repeated broadcasting of the same will be irreparably inimical to the children’s welfare and interest.” The 30-second ad video features children asking the public if Mayor Duterte should be elected president.

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The TRO also mentioned Section 2, Article 6 of Broadcast Code of 2007, which states that “[n]o program or sponsor shall be allowed to manifestly favor or oppose any candidate or political party.” The court’s decision noted that “the truth to the claim that petitioner’s right to reply will be denied considering that the election day is so close now.”

This TRO vs ABS-CBN will take effect for 72 hours. Nevertheless, Sen.Cayetano said he wants a 20-day TRO period after the period lapses, noting that no TV station should be allowed to air the said ad, which was paid for vice-presidentiable, Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, as it is intended to destroy Duterte’s reputation as the leading candidate.

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Earlier, ABS-CBN and the MTRCB (Movie and Television Review and Classification Board) released their statement on the issue. The Kapamilya network said that its ethics committee reviewed the content of the material before the ad was aired, and that it has complied with the requirements of pertinent election laws.

On the other hand, MTRCB said that the jurisdiction over political ads is under the office of the Commission on Elections (Comelec). However, Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said this Friday that their agency only regulates the duration of such advertisements, and not its content. This is the ad is positive or negative against a political candidate or party.

Must Read: * Online Petition Urges Public to Sue ABS-CBN, GMA and TV5 for Airing Anti-Duterte Ad

Meanwhile, Sen. Cayetano also complained that his own political ad video was blocked by ABS-CBN. The said ad contains an ABS-CBN TV footage during the last vice-presidential debate, which was conducted by the Kapamilya network. As a response, ABS-CBN categorically denied that the network has blocked Cayetano’s ad.

“ABS-CBN did not block the airing of Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano’s political advertisement. The ethics committee only requested that the footage showing our network executives in the ‘Harapan ng Bise’ debate be edited out from the ad. However, we did not receive the revised material.” ABS-CBN said in a statement.