Viral photo of supposed ‘abused’ ABS-CBN employees with anti-corruption commissioner triggers questions

February 20, 2020 - 4:44 PM
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Greco Belgica
Presidential Anti-Corruption Commissioner Greco Belgica in an undated photo. (Photo from Philippine Information Agency-NCR/Gelaine Louise Gutierrez)

Questions arose about the viral picture of supposed “abused” employees of ABS-CBN, a private entity, convening with a commissioner of the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission.

The picture was posted by blogger “Banat By,” a social media personality associated with another controversial figure, Mocha Uson.

However, it was neither found on the social media accounts of the featured PACC commissioner, Greco Belgica, nor on the page of the agency itself.

“Banat By” wrote in the caption that the picture featured supposed “abused” ABS-CBN employees who sought help from Belgica so that their “complaints” can be raised to different government agencies.

“Tuloy ang laban para sa mga TOTOONG EMPLEYADO ng ABSCBN,” he wrote.

Banat By blurred
A screengrab of Facebook page “Banat By’s” picture posted on Feb. 19, 2020. (Screengrab by Interaksyon)

Some observant Filipinos pointed out that the picture appeared to have questionable details.

A Twitter user shared that she noticed “at least two people in TV5 gear.” She uploaded an encircled version of the picture where she spotted the logo of the media outlet on the shirts of the supposed employees despite the caption claiming the group allegedly consists of “abused” ABS-CBN employees.

Another Twitter user also asked when did PACC, a government entity, ever had jurisdiction over ABS-CBN, which is a completely private corporation.

“Kelan pa naging government agency ang ABS CBN para pakialaman ng so-called Presidential Anti Corruption Commission na ‘yan?” he wrote.

Another Filipino shared that PACC should probe heads of government agencies who allegedly practice subcontracting in all of its projects and programs instead.

“PACC, daming corrupt sa gobyerno, bakit hindi hinaing ng mga empleyado ang pakinggan mo? Ang daming pinuno ng iba’t ibang ahensya ang nagsu-subcontract sa lahat ng projects and programs nila, bakit hindi yun ang silipin niyo?” the Twitter user wrote.

An online user likewise blasted the PACC commissioner and shared one of the provisions of the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees or the Republic Act 6713.

The law stated that they must practice “political neutrality” where they “shall provide service to everyone without unfair discrimination and regardless of party affiliation or preference.”

ABS-CBN’s franchise, which allows them to broadcast television and radio programs, is currently under threat. It is set to expire in March 2020.

RELATED: Here’s a cheat sheet on ABC-CBN’s franchise renewal

Recently, the Office of the Solicitor General filed a petition to the Supreme Court preventing the media giant’s representatives from publicly talking about the matter.

Several of the network’s high-profile personalities such as Karen Davila and Gretchen Ho protested against the move by retweeting the video explainer that ABS-CBN released about the quo warranto petition previously filed against them.

A look at PACC and its mandate 

The Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission is an entity under the Office of the President that was created in 2017 through Executive Order No. 43.

It tasks the commission to “directly assist the President in investigating and/or hearing administrative cases primarily involving graft and corruption against all presidential appointees.”

The entity is also mandated to “conduct lifestyle checks and fact-finding inquiries on acts of omission of all presidential appointees, including those outside the Executive Branch of government, which may be violative of the Constitution, or contrary to law, rules and regulations, and/or constitute serious misconduct tantamount to betrayal of public trust.”

PACC is also tasked to recommend punishment against such wayward officials, which could range from suspension to complete removal from the office.

It is composed of a chairman and four commissioners who shall be appointed by the chief executive.

PACC is currently headed by Dante Jimenez and is composed of commissioners Greco Belgica, Manuelito Luna, Rickson Chong, Ted Contacto and Eduardo Bringas.