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Taguig RTC issues TRO vs. anti-Duterte ad

The Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Taguig City on Friday has issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) prohibiting ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation to air the controversial political ad against Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte paid for and by Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV and others of same nature. 

Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, Duterte's running mate, filed a petition for injunction Friday morning at 9:45 a.m. The Taguig RTC released the TRO in the afternoon. It is effective for 72 hours. 



"...that one aired on respondent's TV station, with remarks 'this political advertisements is paid for and by Antonio Trillanes IV...' shows minors being used in black propaganda. Thus, it must be suppressed at once, as repeated broadcasting of the same will be irreparably inimical to the chilren's welfare and interest," the TRO penned by executive judge Lorifel Lacap Pahimna wrote.


The TRO cited the Section 2, Article 8 of the 2007 Broadcast Code that mandates "no program or sponsor shall be allowed to manifestly favor or oppose any candidate or political party".

"These advertisements do manifestly oppose a candidate, and thus, the court cannot allow minor children to be used in such black propaganda," it said.

The court also acknowledged Cayetano's claim that the right to reply was denied as the political ad in question was aired on Thursday night. Candidates are to stop all campaign activities on Sunday.

Although the TRO is only addressed to ABS-CBN, Cayetano asked other networks to respect the TRO and restrain from airing negative ads or they will also take the same legal action.

The case will be raffled on May 16 at 2 p.m.


Cayetano earlier Friday bared an alleged conspiracy among Malacañang, administration stardard bearer Mar Roxas, and independent presidential candidate Sen. Grace Poe to prevent Duterte from winning the May 9 elections.

Cayetano said the controversial anti-Duterte TV ad that aired Thursday night was part of the plan.

"I am confirming to you that this is a conspiracy between Palace, Mar Roxas, Grace Poe, their supporters, and some networks," Cayetano, Duterte's running mate, said at a press briefing.

He said Malacañang initially tried to make either Roxas and Poe withdraw from the presidential race for them to have a united front, but the plan supposedly did not work out.

Instead, the two allegedly agreed to work against Duterte, the front runner in recent presidential surveys by both Pulse Asia and Social Weather Station.

"I am confirming to you that this is a conspiracy between Palace, Mar Roxas, Grace Poe, their supporters, and some networks," Cayetano, Duterte's running mate, said at a press briefing.

Malacañang, meanwhile, said Cayetano's accusation was baseless.

"Walang katotohan at walang konkretong batayan ang alegasyon ni Sen. Cayetano," said Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. in a text message to reporters.

"Ang focus ng pamahalaan ay ang pagtamo sa layunin na maidaos ang malinis at may integridad na halalan," he added.

Sought for comment on Coloma's statement, Cayetano said, "Tell it to the Marines."

GMA News Online is still trying to get Poe's comment as of posting time.

'No jurisdiction'

The Commission on Elections has no power to stop the airing of a political advertisement directed against a particular candidate, Comelec spokesman James Jimenez has said.

“We do not regulate their contents. As far as what are their contents, whether positive or negative or what actors are used, we do not meddle with them,” Jimenez said.

"Partisan political activity is even defined specifically as any activity which is in favor of or against a candidate. So an ad can be for someone or against someone," he added.

Jimenez said that the Comelec only had power over the financial implications of the political ads of candidates.

“These ads are not submitted to the Comelec nor are they required to be submitted to the Comelec. These ads are aired and we monitor them for their duration, for them to be compared against their ad time limit. That’s all,” he said. — RSJ/NB, GMA News