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Jay Sonza suggests that ABS-CBN’s blocktime deal with ZOE Broadcasting Network be investigated

But also said that he is fine with the ZOE-ABS-CBN deal provided that franchise guidelines are not violated.

Failed senatorial candidate and former newscaster Jay Sonza wants a probe into ABS-CBN and ZOE Broadcasting Network’s new blocktime deal, which created A2Z channel 11 that features various Kapamilya programs including ASAP and noontime show It’s Showtime. 

In a Facebook post, Sonza said that ZOE is a facility that belongs to a religious institution which is why it is not required to pay taxes, but things might have to change because of the new deal with ABS-CBN.

“Simula ng ito pumasok sa isang block time agreement at nagpagamit sa ABS-CBN bilang full commercial broadcast facilities, lumihis na ito sa pagiging religious facility lamang ng JIL,” he explained.

“Kahalintulad kayaking ito soon as pinasok na kasunduan ng Kapamilya Network sa AMCARRA Broadcasting (S&A Channel 23)? Ngayon ay may naghain ng isang resolution calling for an investigation for alleged violation of state franchise of Zoe Broadcasting,” he added.
He initially pointed out what happened with AMCARA.

“AMCARRA (sic) Broadcasting (free TV 23) had a blocktime arrangement with abs-cbn without approved amendments of franchise from Congress & NTC permit.

“Ayon tuloy, nasara din gaya ng Kapamilya Broadcasting,” said Sonza.

But also said that he is fine with the ZOE-ABS-CBN deal provided that franchise guidelines are not violated.

“Walang problema sa blocktime arrangement ng Zoe Broadcasting (free TV 11) sa abs-cbn kung mayroon man, basta’t nasa tamang hulog iyong arrangement at amendment sa prangkisa ng Light Network at iyong ay approved ng NTC,” Sonza continued.

After that, he said he sees nothing wrong with blocktime arrangements.

“Let it be known that I have nothing against blocktime or segment buy. Kailangan lang sumunod sa mga batas at alituntunin,” said Sonza.

But later took a shot at former ABS-CBN Chairman Emeritus Gabby Lopez’s citizenship.

“Pray nobody objects to the use by Zoe Broadcasting of the airwaves by a broadcasting company that is not 100% Filipino owned as mandated by the Philippine Constitution,” said Sonza.

Dapat bang imbestigahan ang prangkisa Zoe Broadcasting ng Jesus is Lord na pinamumunuan ni Brother Eddie Villanueva?…

Posted by Jay Sonza on Thursday, October 22, 2020

His suggestion of examining ZOE’s deal with ABS-CBN came after ABANG LINGKOD party-list Rep. Joseph Stephen Paduano appeal to the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) and Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to investigate the blocktime agreement.
In a virtual press briefing, he said that there were “legal issues” in the network’s new partnership.
“There is a legal issue about it. Tignan na lang natin kung ano ang mangyayari diyan.” he told House reporters.
“Let the NTC do the study or investigation on that matter. Then NTC will recommend it to Congress, to the Committee on Franchise, and the committee will act on it. We also have the responsibility and the right to investigate it,” he added.
The House Committee on Legislative Franchises rejected the Kapamilya network’s bid for a franchise renewal last July and the blocktime deal is the only reason that it’s back on free TV.
Paduano also said that the BIR should look into ZOE’s tax-exempt status as a religious broadcasting entity because it is now airing ABS-CBN programs.

“Once you’re a commercial TV or network, you have to pay your taxes. ‘Yan ang issue ko doon sa ABS-CBN eh. The profits of ABS-CBN goes to Big Dipper. That’s tax evasion. May issue talaga kapag ganyan. You have to pay your taxes,” he said.

“If somebody will file a case against Zoe with regards to tax, let’s leave that to the court for now. Tignan natin kung ano (Let’s see what happens). But of course the BIR should check on it and the NTC. Kasi di ba dapat kapag commercial ka (If you’re a commercial entity) you have to pay your taxes,” he added.

Written by Charles Teves

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