On May 25, broadcast journalist Christian Esguerra voiced his concern about Teleradyo becoming a mouthpiece of politicians.
On his podcast Facts First, Esguerra covered the recent changes with the radio platform, confirming that they would be under the partnership of Prime Media Holdings Inc and ABS-CBN Corp.
Esguerra expressed his apprehension, especially with Prime Media Holdings Inc and its ties to a political family.
“Pero hindi lang ‘yun ‘yung story dito. Ang dapat nating tutukan dito ay ‘yung second half ng balita. Magre-resume siya, pero under a joint venture with a company connected with the House Speaker, ito po ‘yung Prime Media Holdings Inc. Kasi joint venture nga, sila po ‘yung majority tapos ABS-CBN, ‘yung base sa balita, 49%. So basically ang controlling doon ay ‘yung Prime Media Holdings Inc.”
His apprehension on Teleradyo “being used” as a ‘mouthpiece’ for politicians.
“So natural nandoon po ‘yung takot, ‘yung pangamba na, ‘Teka baka naman maging mouth piece naman na ng mga Romualdez, ng Administrasyong Marcos, ‘yung ABS-CBN Teleradyo kapag nangyari ‘to. O baka by extension, pati TV Patrol.”
He also pointed out that ABS-CBN had been holding back in delivering hard-hitting news even before its shutdown in 2020.
“As it is nga eh, malamya ang coverage ng ABS-CBN. I’m sure before nga lang ng shutdown, hindi naman ganon katapang ang coverage ng ABS-CBN eh, maging pranka na tayo dito. Perolalong nabahag ‘yung buntot noong kasagsagan noong diskusyon pagdating sa franchise application, at to think na tatapang ang ABS-CBN after ipasara ni Duterte, pero ganon eh, mas nabahag pa ‘yung buntot eh.
“May manaka-naka tayong nakikita na lumalaban from within na real journalist eh na nire-resist ‘yung self censorship from within at naglalabas talaga ng balita na dapat ilabas para sa ating lahat. Para po sa inyo.”
Finally, he urged his audience to monitor Teleradyo during its transition.
“Tutukan ninyo po, kasi hindi lang po ito laban ng ABS, ng mga empleyado doon. Laban ninyo po ito. Isipin ninyo ba, kung ganito ang nangyayari sa isang news organization apektado rin po ‘yung kalidad ng impormasyon na nakakaratin sa inyo, nakakarating sa ating lahat.”
Earlier, ABS-CBN journalist and other news personalities voiced their support for the staff and crew of Teleradyo following the company announcing that they would cease the operations for the platform.
As for Esguerra, he started working for ABS-CBN in 2015. He became the anchor and managing editor of ANC’s news program Early Edition in 2018. He also worked on After the Fact in 2020.
However, Esguerra ended the program in 2022 due to the ‘prevailing political climate.’ He also left ANC the same year.
He then focused on his podcast and YouTube Channel with his digital news program Facts First.