The KBP Standards Authority rued its inability to investigate GMA-7, a non-member of the association, devoting a full page of its 23-page decision to discuss that problem.
The Standards Authority said KBP cannot do self-regulation of the broadcast industry if it has no power over some of the sector’s players. It noted: “We believe that the KBP was organized in April 1973 as a self-regulating private organization of the broadcast industry. It was meant to include all broadcast stations in the country, without exception. Anything less mocks the principle of self-regulation, as evidenced by our present inability to officially inquire into the coverage of the hostage-taking incident by GMA-7."
“To this end," said the Standards Authority, “it is suggested that the Office of the President, through the Office of the Executive Secretary, and with the assistance of the National Telecommunications Commission, support the KBP in establishing a system or mechanism by which the broadcast code is made to apply to all broadcast stations in the country, without exception."
The unique case of GMA-7 appears to be a sore point among many KBP members. “What about GMA-7?" asked one media executive when informed of the sanctions imposed on the other networks. “Won’t it even be sanctioned?"
Gozum herself commented, “Our members are at a disadvantage because they must comply with the broadcast code regarding program and commercial loading and others." It was for this reason, she said, that the KBP has asked Malacañang to find a way to end what she called “unfair competition."
“Government must address the issue of GMA-7 and the other non-KBP members," Gozum said.
But in an earlier interview with The Manila Bulletin in July 2006, GMA-7 chairman and president Felipe L. Gozon said the network bolted from the KBP precisely because it thought KBP’s self-regulatory functions were already obsolete.
“I did not believe in the regulatory function that KBP was imposing on members," the newspaper quoted Gozon as saying. “That was obsolete already. The KBP was Marcos’s idea to regulate the broadcast industry. I did not agree in what KBP wanted to impose. I do not believe in censorship. I did not agree on load limitation. Even the US National Association of Broadcasters couldn’t impose load limitation now after they were hauled to court and the court ruled in favor of the complainant."