Valencia's ex-mayor Galario: from radio adversary to broadcaster

Former Valencia City Mayor Jose M. Galario Jr. now operates DXVC, a new 1-kilowatt FM radio station broadcasting from Bagonta-as, Valencia City. 

The station styles itself as a member of a network of radio stations owned by the Polytechnic Foundation of Cotabato and Asia, Inc. (PFCAI).

Aside from playing music, the station airs a commentary program hosted by Galario himself. He said its programming is not "scripted" and is determined to report the truth in the city.

His son Glenn, who lost to Rep. Teofisto Guingona III (2nd Dist.) in the last elections, sits as a disk jockey, sources said.

Galario was elected mayor in 2001 when he, then a popular police chief, defeated former Bukidnon Gov. Carlos Fortich. He also won against then vice mayor Jose Leandro Catarata in 2004.

But he lost his bid for a last term to Catarata in 2007. 

He has since accused the present administration of irregularities. Claiming he has the numbers behind him, he filed a petition for recall election against Catarata last year.

The Commission on Elections en banc dismissed the petition on technicalities. The Galario camp has since appealed the decision. A recall petition could only be filed once. 

Now, the former mayor faces a new battle — getting a business permit from city hall and the nod from the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC).

While DXVC has been on "test broadcast," it has problems obtaining a business permit in a city where he once ruled. 

Actually, City Councilor Oliver Owen Garcia said, DXVC was able to get a business permit in October 2008 but it has to be revoked since the city has legislation against entry of new radio stations.

Galario has applied for a permit to construct, install, operate, and maintain a radio station from the NTC last year.

In August, Garcia said, the NTC wrote to the city government of Valencia if it has objections to the application of PFCAI for DXVC.

The city council passed a resolution on September 22 disallowing the entry of additional radio stations, Garcia said. He told MindaNews Wednesday they included the resolution, along with other documents, in their reply to the NTC. 

The council decided that the city's five radio stations are already "sufficient for the information and music needs of the city", Garcia said.

"Adding another would no longer be commercially viable for the existing stations and will inconvenience the public," Garcia said, ruling out political harassment as the reason.

"In all honesty, and now I can tell you this, at that time we did not know he (Galario) owned the station," Garcia told MindaNews in an interview. 

He claimed that at that time, they did not know who owns PFCAI, too. 

He said the city government has "bad experiences" about dubious programming of some radio stations.

Garcia said DXVC now operates and making money without a business permit from the city government. 

He said Vice Mayor Benjamin Verano apologized for having signed the station's business permit one time when he sat as acting mayor.

"The vice mayor made a mistake. He accidentally issued a permit. He knew there was a resolution disallowing entry of additional radio stations," Garcia said. 

MindaNews tried to reach Galario through his last mobile phone number but he did not respond to text messages and call attempts. 

Galario has cried foul in his radio interviews saying the city is having "undue advantage" and employing "double standards". He said what's happening is against free enterprise.

"It is not their (city government) business to determine profitability of business entities. The local government should only regulate," Galario told radio station DXDB on Wednesday. Garcia said disallowing entry of additional players is a form of regulation.

Galario has threatened to file charges against those who will block the issuance of the business permit.

But Garcia also warned of snowballing effect from the problem with the business permit with the city to the NTC's permit.

He said they are questioning why the station has operated without a permit from the NTC and why PFCAI has allegedly allowed DXVC to use its 2001 NTC franchise when it is illegal.  

In September 2003 Galario padlocked the doors of radio station DxMV-Radyo Ukay. The mayor claimed the station was allowing broadcasters not accredited by Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster sa Pilipinas ("KBP") to anchor its programs. He also criticized the radio station for allegedly broadcasting political slander.

In 2005, he revoked the license of Radio Mindanao Network's DXVR FM in Valencia due to "unfriendly broadcast." 

Galario ordered the revocation taking offense over criticisms hurled by RMN broadcasters. But RMN filed an injunction with P1 million damages suit against Galario and got a 20-day temporary restraining order from Judge Josefina Gentiles Bacal. (Walter I. Balane / MindaNews)