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Bacolod City, Philippines Saturday, March 9, 2013
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Owner of padlocked station
seeking media groups' help

The franchise owner and station manager of Radyo Natin 105.3 FM in Hinobaan town yesterday appealed to media groups to help him fight what he called modern day “oppressors of the Fourth Estate” who shut down his radio station.

Segundino Taladico, in a statement he distributed to the media, claimed that the alleged oppressors are Mayor Ma. Teresa Bilbao of Hinoba-an town, 199.4 kilometers south of Bacolod City, and “the bigger political forces behind her.”

He said that, on March 1, Bilbao ordered the padlocking of Radyo Natin 105.3 FM in Hinobaan, an affiliate of Manila Broadcasting Co.

Taladico said they had been silent to give the mayor time to grant and sign their application for a mayor's permit that he claimed had been pending on her desk since January.

He said the claim of Bilbao that they have had no business permit since 2010 is not true, and added that they also paid their other required fees with the town government.

Taladico said that for Bilbao to deny that politics was not the reason for the shutdown is to good to be true, as people in Hinoba-an and elsewhere in the province are very aware of her political leanings.

The closure order on his station must be deplored because it was done without due process and was a clear repression of the freedom of the press, he added.

He said they are sure that even if they comply with all the requirements they will not get a permit.

Taladico said he is appealing for help from the Negros Press Club, National Union of Journalists of the Philippines, Kapisanan ng mga Brodkasters sang Pilipinas, National Council for Press Freedom and other groups .

Bilbao could not be reached for comment as of press time.*CPG



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