Journalie Payonan, ex-cameraman of ABS-CBN, testified during the congressional hearing that he was illegally dismissed from his job together with 103 other talents (technical workers) after filing a complaint in DOLE in 2002. He spent 13 years in ABS-CBN as cameraman but was never absorbed as a regular employee.
Payonan testified that he was the cameraman of Kabayan Noli de Castro before he became the Vice President of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
He mentioned Val Cuenca as his co-cameraman and Maan Macapagal, both are regular employees of the network. They used the same equipment, drove ABS-CBN vehicles.
As the cameraman, he was assigned in risky assignments covering Mindanao, particularly in Basilan.
According to Payonan, he was doing the same job as that of regular employee like Val Cuenca but they received different salaries. He revealed he received P14K salary, way lower than Val Cuenca.
Payonan intimated that their case is still pending at the Supreme Court. In 2010, the they won their case in the Court of Appeals.
Payonan said the NUJP supported them in the beginning after he protested in front of ABS-CBN for 3 months but eventually, NUJP abandoned them.
Payonan confessed that he wants to share their experience when they were illegally fired from their jobs. He recalled it was around Christmas, Gabby Lopez summoned his colleagues who filed the case against the network to 4 different hotels. A banquet was prepared for them. They were accompanied by security guards only to be told they no longer have their jobs.
Some of his colleagues almost went crazy after hearing the news because they thought they were summoned to get promoted but the opposite happened.
Payonan said this did not happen to him since he was the last one to get fired from his job. The network fired them one at a time. He said they continued doing their jobs, did not abandon their program assignments. In other words, they were professionals and did not compromise any of ABS-CBN shows.
He called it a silent protest but continue doing their jobs in the network because all they asked for were Pagibig, SSS, PhilHealth benefits which were given to them after they filed a case.
Payonan expressed his intention to ask SSS if they can still run after the years wherein the network did not give them those benefits.
Payonan narrated that he started working for ABS-CBN since 1996 and he did not have SSS until 2002. He showed his pay slips showing he had no contribution to SSS since 1996 until 2002. In 2002, after he filed a case versus ABS-CBN, all those who filed the case were given Phil Health, SSS and Pagibig by ABS-CBN.
One of the Congressmen asked Payonan regarding their status since they were not considered as regular employee. He replied that ABS-CBN considered them as talents even though they don’t sing and dance but do technical jobs as camera man and audio man.
The Congresman asked Payonan whether he asked the ABS-CBN management why he was not regularized as an employee? Since he was doing the same job as the regular cameraman and using the same equipment.
Payonan answered the question by narrating his encounter with one of ABS-CBN’s bigwigs whose style is to ask people, “How many years did you work as cameraman?”
According to Payanon he asked this Big Boss about his status and Big Boss replied in jest, “Baka hindi ka magaling.”
Payanon lamented he spent 13 years in the job and the network took advantage of his talent and yet he was no good.
Source: Banat By