Updated June 13, 2018
Several reports to Ilocos Sur media members have been circulating for years about the malicious exploits of one Arsenio Cortez, apparently owner of Iluko Heritage Channel 16, a small cable channel located in Bantay, Ilocos Sur.
According to media sources who recommended female workers to IHC16, on-the-job female trainees of mass communication and related fields, as well as aspiring broadcasters that worked with the cable tv channel have experienced humiliation when they worked with Cortez as they always ended up being physically and verbally ill-treated. Most of them have claimed to have been offered to establish "romantic" relations with the septuagenarian whom colleagues estimate to be already 78-year-old.
"Minaniac na pay diay kaanakan ni Misis na," (He even maliciously touched the niece of her wife) a reliable source privy to what are happening in "news coverage" trips and office work at IHC16 said. "Ginammatan na kano diay maselan nga parte ti bagi na idi naminsan a napanda nag-coverage," (Cortez grabbed the crotch of the girl when they are on the way to or from a news coverage) the source said. "The girl was crying in anger and humiliation when she narrated her ordeal to me," the source added.
Another media man who knew Cortez from way back said that he can recall Cortez had been incarcerated in Ilocos Norte for an alleged case when an amateur singer contestant filed criminal complaints against Cortez several years back.
"Awan makabayag nga babai nga adda itsura na nga kaduami ditoy gapu ta maniaken na," (No female staff with good looks can work long-term here because he abuses them) one of the IHC16 staff claimed.
Many of Cortez' victims are afraid to speak up and come out in the open because he owns the cable channel that is partly-funded by the Provincial Governemnt of Ilocos Sur, an insider said. Apparently, PGIS is subsidizing some ninety-thousand pesos (P90,000) monthly in IHC costs and expenses. But insiders also said that although it has been airing for about 8 years, employees who have been there for years are never regularized, receive very minimal income, and might not even have employee benefits required by the Social Security System and Department of Labor. It was even suggested by another reliable source that Cortez avoids paying his taxes by using old official receipts.
People who are concerned are requesting Provincial Governor Ryan Luis Singson, NBI Vigan chief Atty. Lacson B. Malqued, the SSS, and the Dole to investigate the matter so as not to stigmatize other Ilocos Sur media members and PGIS itself.
Before I posted this, I already filed a police report at the Bantay Police precinct about commission of Sexual Harassment (at Work) against me by this Arsenio Cortez as well as requested for investigation on my testimony and complaint with the NBI and currently held by Investigator Edwin Fianza.
Section 3 of the Act specifies that:
The police, sadly, a relative and fellow female as well as her colleagues at Bantay, have not been briefed or aware of this law, nor its implication and where it is coming from. They insist on the factor of it being more brutal experience - of possible rape or forced physical contact rather than the economic, professional, mental and emotional impact it causes, which I understand were the reasons why this law was made in the first place.(a) In a work-related or employment environment, sexual harassment is committed when: (1) The sexual favor is made as a condition in the hiring or in the employment, re-employment or continued employment of said individual, or in granting said individual favorable compensation, terms of conditions, promotions, or privileges; or the refusal to grant the sexual favor results in limiting, segregating or classifying the employee which in any way would discriminate, deprive or diminish employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affect said employee;
I am a solo parent, gearing up for college education of my 3 children, so, getting clients (as I am building up my consultancy client-base) is very important at this stage. Considering that I am ancient and still become prey to this kind of cheap gimmick by this Cortez is a very negative experience. And I am calling out all those who have knowledge or had bad experience with Cortez to come out.