ABS-CBN counsel slammed for intellectual dishonesty

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III today accused the lawyers of ABS-CBN of intellectual dishonesty for claiming that the labor department has tacit approval of the seasonal work arrangement for the broadcast firm’s program employees.

“They are intellectually dishonest,” Bello said, stressing that the policy referred to and adopted more than 40 years ago was declared by the courts in 2004 to be invalid.

“To cite a policy that has been stricken down by the courts to have no basis in law and in fact is plain and simple dishonesty meant to mislead the people and the members of Congress,” he added.

In a hearing at the House on Tuesday, ABS-CBN counsels pointed to Policy Instruction No. 40 as basis for classifying workers in the broadcast company.

The lawyers however did not state that such policy was issued in 1979, leaving the impression that the policy was that of Bello’s.

The labor department earlier took strong exceptions to claims that it has found ABS CBN compliant with labor laws and standards.

It said labor inspectors found violations of laws and standards by ABS-CBN.

And on account of those findings, the company took steps to correct those infractions.

“It is therefore patently misleading to attribute to us the claim that ABS-CBN is a compliant company. In fact, there are 67 pending cases against the company in the NLRC and the various courts,” DOLE said in a statement.

Bello said, “Correcting the violations committed by ABS-CBN after inspection did not make it a compliant company.