Aug 222014

MANILA, Philippines – The government wants to know the circumstances behind the recent purchase by business tycoon Antonio Cabangon-Chua – who served as ambassador to Laos during the time of former president Gloria Arroyo – of a majority stake in partly-sequestered RPN-9 network.

 “RPN-9 is one of the agencies under the supervision of our office, pursuant to Executive Order 4, series of 2010,” Press Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. of the Presidential Communications Operations Office wrote in an email to Palace reporters.

 “This office, together with the PCGG, had requested the board of directors of RPN-9 and its corporate secretary to submit all the requisite documents regarding the sale of the shares by Solar (television network),” he added.

The National Government, through the Presidential Commission on Good Government, is a stockholder of RPN-9, owning 20.80 percent of the total shares. It is thus a “minority” in the board, Coloma acknowledged.

Radio Philippines Network-9 was bought by Solar Entertainment Corp. who owns 34.16 percent of the formerly sequestered TV network that started its operations during the time of then President Ferdinand Marcos.

Another substantial shareholder is Far East Managers and Investors, Inc. (FEMII), the group of former ambassador and Marcos crony Roberto Benedicto who owns 32 percent of RPN-9.

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The remaining shares comprising of 13.04 percent of total shares are owned by private individual stockholders.

Last Thursday, The STAR reported that media mogul Cabangon-Chua – who owns Aliw Broadcasting Corp. that operates radio station dwIZ and publishes the daily business newspaper Business Mirror – bought Solar TV network.

Aliw Broadcasting Corp. was established in 1991 and currently operates 10 radio stations, including Home Radio in Metro Manila.

A source said Cabangon-Chua has been elected chairman of RPN-9, replacing Wilson Tieng who owns Solar Entertainment Corp. that has a 33-percent stake in the TV network partly owned by the government.

RPN-9 is also partly owned by the Benedicto family which is closely associated with the late President Marcos and former First Lady Imelda Marcos and Far East Managers and Investors Inc.

The source added that talks between the camp of Cabangon-Chua and the Tieng group for the acquisition of the stake of Solar Entertainment in RPN-9 are ongoing. 

Solar Entertainment is a leader in the creation, promotion and distribution of entertainment and sports content programming. Its roster of entertainment and sports channels include ETC, 2nd Avenue, Jack TV, Solar Sports and Basketball TV.

Starting Aug. 23, the Solar News website would also change its address from its current to while its Twitter account would become @9newsph and Facebook account will be

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