RMN Davao employees back axed station manager

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/9 Sept) – Employees of Radio Mindanao Network DXDC mounted a show of support for their station manager, Maximo “Dodong “ Solis, staging a noisy picket outside the radio station in Anda Street this morning.

Solis, DXDC area manager, was dismissed by RMN network management last Monday for “loss of confidence” and “failure to follow the daily radio operations.”

Broadcaster Maximo “Dodong “ Solis reads from a laptop his statement why he was dismissed as area manager of Radio Mindanao Network. Solis accused the network of “unfairly” dismissing him without basis. MindaNews photo by Froilan Gallardo
Solis’ termination prompted the RMN Davao Employees Union and the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines to throw their support behind the veteran broadcaster.

Solis is a senior adviser of NUJP Davao chapter.

Solis at the press conference. Photo by Toto Lozano/AKP Images
“Gitanggal nila si Dodong Solis pinaagi sa mga walay basehan nga rason (They terminated Dodong Solis without sufficient reasons),” a four-page statement of the RMN Davao Employees Union said.

In a press conference this morning, an emotional Solis told colleagues that he was “unfairly” fired by the network.

“For several years, DXDC was consistently the No. 1 radio station in profits and ratings. I am now being dismissed without benefits. I could not understand why,” Solis said.

Employees of Radio Mindanao Network DXDC burn a huge protest poster in front of the radio station in Davao City Sept. 9. MindaNews photo by Froilan Gallardo
Solis said he suspected a politician is behind his sudden termination from work. He did not identify the politician.

“This local politician wants me out of this radio station because he is set to stage a major protest on his loss in the last elections,” he said.

But lawyer Jorge Sacdalan, counsel for RMN network, said Solis was fired after an internal investigation that ran for 30 days.

Employees of Radio Mindanao Network DXDC stage a picket in front of the radio station in Davao City Sept. 9. MindaNews photo by Froilan Gallardo
“Mr. Solis also willfully did not follow our daily operation guidelines. This resulted to a loss of trust and confidence on him by the management,” Sacdalan told MindaNews in a phone interview.

Sacdalan said the investigation found Solis allegedly “guilty” of entering into commercial ad transactions that were disadvantageous to the management.

Carlos Canoy, RMN vice president for AM operations, said they found DXDC and other radio stations supervised by Solis to have aired more commercial spots than what was specified in the contracts.

“Some of the commercial ads do not even have contracts,” Canoy said.

Canoy said it was not the first time that management has reprimanded Solis about the commercial ads.

He said two years ago, Solis was reprimanded for not airing the required ads by the commercial sponsors, a move that subjected the network to lawsuits from the business companies.

Canoy said a corporation set up by Solis, Nature’s med, dealer of herbal medicines, have incurred huge debts to the company in delayed or unpaid commercial ads.

“We do not care if he set up a union in our radio stations but what we are concerned about is our commercial operations. This is a network, not his,” Canoy said.

Sacdalan said the network will not penalize the DXDC employees who staged a picket supporting Solis this morning.

“We respect their freedom of expression. As long as no company equipment is broken, it is okay with us,” Sacdalan said.

Solis denied all of the allegations hurled by the management against him.

“Why did these allegations come up only now? I have been a loyal employee for several years,” he said.

He said Nature’s med was organized in 2004 to answer the need of RMN employees who received low salaries and benefits from the networks.

Solis said the employees were able to take advantage from the profits of Nature’s med, which can provide them burial expenses and salary loans.

Solis challenged the network to file the necessary charges against him. (Froilan Gallardo / MindaNews)