Media watchdogs in Cagayan de Oro have questioned the dismissal of three radio broadcasters after they consumed a lechon delivered to the station.
After feasting on a lechon a day after the celebration of the Feast of Saint Augustine in Cagayan de Oro, DXRU Radyo Ultra personnel Ernie Balagot, Fred Dellava and Edgar Navarro are now jobless.
DXRU Radio Ultra is an AM commercial radio station owned and operated by Ultracraft Advertising. The station’s studio is located in Barangay Carmen, Cagayan de Oro with its transmitter in Barangay Taboc, Opol town in Misamis Oriental.
An official of the radio station, Bans Gualberto, said Balagot resigned and only Dellava and Navarro were dismissed for cause.
The dismissed employees said in a statement that on August 29, a lechon was delivered to their radio station. They said they were even thankful for the thoughtfulness of the son of Mayor Oscar Moreno for remembering them, especially that they were busy covering events during the fiesta.
So they feasted on the lechon and brought some home to their families. It was late in the afternoon that they got a call from the household of the radio station’s owner, asking that the lechon be brought to the his house.
The radio station personnel explained that they already consumed the lechon. But the owner would not accept their explanation.
In a confrontation between the station owner and employees on September 2, the president identified as Girlie Gualberto-Suan allegedly insulted the employees then dismissed them from service.
On Tuesday, the Cagayan de Oro Press Club (COPC) and the local chapter of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) condemned the “greed of the owners of the radio station.”
The COPC and the NUJP are assisting the employees in filing appropriate cases against their employer.
“We treat this unprovoked attack on the welfare and job security within our ranks in media an attack to both our organizations,” said the statement signed by Jerry Orcullo, COPC president and Cong B. Coralles, president of the NUJP Cagayan de Oro chapter.
Gualberto, meanwhile, said the allegations of the COPC and the NUJP “are farthest from the truth,” but lamented that a dialogue would have been better before the media groups issued the statement.
“We are willing to face them in the Department of Labor,” he added.