April 21, 2010 in Featured
By JAN MICHAEL R. VILLA and KIER LAYAOEN with reports from AILEEN REFUERZO/PIO Baguio
BAGUIO CITY — The City Council here approved the petition filed by the Hotels and Restaurant Association of Baguio (HRAB) to declare seven officials of the Filipino Society of Composers and Publishers Inc. (Filscap) as persona non grata.
Declared “unwelcome” in the city are Filscap General Manager Debbie Gaite,Vice President Heber Bartolome, Board of Trustee Trina Belamide and members of the Board of Trustees Mike Villegas, Mel Villena, Jovencio Aguilar and Danny Fabella.
The council’s move was prompted by the petitions of the HRAB and the Baguio Conventions and Visitors Bureau (BCVB) to declare Filscap and its officers and members as detested persons in the city for issuing statements “which are false, unjust, disrespectful, unfair and were intended to besmirch the honor and integrity of the City Government.”
“All these comments were made in bad taste, showing the quality of FILSCAP’s malicious intent. Them, unmindful of the fact that there is always a proper forum and the proper works to express their sentiments and disgust. We cannot let any of these hurtful words go unchecked,” the two groups noted in the petition which they personally presented to the body during the session.
“As concerned constituents of Baguio, we are alarmed by the impunity and unprofessionalism of these FILSCAP officers and members; that we are reminded that this imprudent act in not only irresponsible but also tactless and lacking in good taste,” the petition read.
HRAB members led by its President Anthony de Leon and counsel Jose Bonifacio filed the said petition in the City Council after some of the officials of the Filscap posted negative comments online. This was in reaction to a published picture of some Baguio businessmen denouncing the Filscap’s collection of royalties. Filscap officials posted statements on their online accounts like Facebook on the “stupidity” of Baguio people for their ignorance of the copyright law.
Filscap is said to be the administrator of certain deeds to collect royalties for artists in the country or abroad whose compositions are being used in karaoke bars and other business estabalishments.
Baguio businessmen refused to pay as they questioned the authority of the Filscap to collect royalties. Local businessmen also wondered how royalties reach the composers or artists.
In the petition, HRAB stated that “Their acts of defaming and maligning have not only destroyed the credibility of establishment owners but also all Baguio residents.”
The city council also recommended that those other people who are affected by the Filscap comments should file libel or slander cases against the Filscap officials.# nordis.net