MANILA, NOVEMBER 1, 2003 (STAR) By Marichu Villanueva - Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) commissioner Ruben Carranza Jr., along with five other members of the nine-man board of directors of the sequestered International Broadcasting Corp. (IBC) Channel 13, voted to cut off the telecast of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) games over the reported failure of its marketing arm to remit more than P70 million payment of the TV station’s share in the receipts.

This was reported yesterday to Press Secretary Milton Alingod by Robert "Bob" del Rosario, vice president for operations of IBC-13.

This was after Alingod started yesterday his formal inquiry into the reported IBC-13 board intramurals which, among other issues, led to their "mass resignation."

The board of the IBC-13 is composed of chairman Lincoln Tan Jr., IBC-13 president Renato Bello, Esperanza Vivas, Philip Ella-Juico, Lauro Vizconde, Joselito Yabut and Lourdes Velarde. Board member Nandy Vitalicio was absent during the board meeting Oct. 29 when the decision was made to cut off the airing of the PBA games.

The board members of the IBC-13 were presidential appointees nominated to the PCGG as fiscal agents of the sequestered TV station.

In a two-page memorandum to Alingod Oct. 31, the IBC-13 executive said the decision to cut off the airing of the PBA games was voted upon during the board meeting on the motion of Carranza.

"Commissioner Carranza, in light of the continuing non-payment of IBC’s airtime amounting to P70,821,595.96 to date, formally moved to cut the airing of the PBA games," Del Rosario said in his memorandum.

"When put to a vote of the eight directors present, six directors (including Commissioner Carranza) voted to cut the airing, while two directors abstained – chairman Tan and Velarde," Del Rosario said.

"Hence, the board formally resolved to cut the airing of the PBA games effective immediately that very day," he added.

The PBA games are co-aired by IBC-13 and the government-run Nation Broadcasting Network (NBN) Channel 4.

The problem stemmed over the alleged repeated failure of Summit Sports World Corp., the private marketing arm of the PBA games, to pay IBC-13 and accumulated P70.8 million accruing to the sequestered TV station.

Before proceeding with the day’s agenda of the board meeting, which included the problem related to the PBA games, Del Rosario informed Alingod that Carranza immediately took the floor and represented that the PCGG "let" him to discuss the matter of assignment of sequestered stocks at the TV station where each of the board members was "assigned one qualifying share" that entitled them as fiscal agents.

"Commissioner Carranza deemed it prudent to ask all the other directors (except for the director yet to be installed — Velarde) to first submit their resignations to the commission as stockholders," Del Rosario said.

"Chairman Tan confirmed if all the directors should resign as such. Commissioner Carranza said yes. The directors were then asked to reduce their respective resignations into handwriting on separate pieces of bond paper. All the directors present did so," Del Rosario said.

After the board meeting, Del Rosario said, Tan and Vivas withdrew their respective resignation letters through a letter sent to Carranza, "copy furnished the office of Her Excellency."

Aside from the issue of abrogating the IBC-13 contract to air the PBA games, Alingod told The STAR, there were also charges and counter-charges among the IBC-13 board members of alleged money-making deals on other contracts and programs being aired over the sequestered TV station without prior approval of the board.

The Office of the Press Secretary (OPS), headed by Alingod, has oversight functions over the sequestered TV station, like all other sequestered media entities such as Channel 9 and Journal Publications, which were actually under the supervision of the PCGG and the Asset Privatization Trust.

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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