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Division in RP media: pro and anti-Aquino


LIFE’S INSPIRATIONS: “… But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth…” (Deuteronomy 8:18, the Holy Bible).

NO ONE THANKING GOD FOR MEGAN’S VICTORY? Just a thought, as I browsed through all the congratulatory messages extolling Megan Young as the first and only Filipino Ms. World: not one of Megan’s well-wishers remembered to thank God for her victory. Did this mean that, people believed Megan did it on her own to win the crown in Bali, Indonesia? Or that, Filipinos just do not have the fear and love of God in their hearts anymore, so that it is now an impossibility for them to even remember to thank God for victories?

BATTLE BETWEEN PRO- AND ANTI-AQUINO MEDIA: Did you notice the “great divide” that separates the pro-Aquino media and the Aquino-opposition media? You should, because it is easy to see. When the news pertains to the alleged wrongdoings of politicians opposing President Aquino, the pro-Aquino media (oftentimes called the “yellow media”) will waste no time in publishing it.

When, however, the news pertains to the explanations of Aquino’s political opponents or about “bombshells” detailing corruption under President Aquino, they cannot be found in the “yellow media” but are often reported only in the “alternative press”, that is, media entities owned by Aquino critics. This is the kind of press freedom we have here in the Philippines—the freedom to publicize anything, according to the publishers’ leanings and business interests.

NEWS NOT FOUND IN “YELLOW MEDIA”: Here is an example of a news report on the pork barrel scam that could never get published in the “yellow media”: “Continuing his attack on the COA report, (Sen. Jinggoy) Estrada said of the P115.987 billion in releases for PDAF and other discretionary funds, the COA (Commission on Audit) was able to audit only P41 billion. `What happened? Where did the more than P75 billion go?’  Estrada said.

“Of the soft projects worth P29 billion, COA was able to audit only P8 billion, he added. `Where is the P21 billion. Was this released? Where did it go? Why was it not audited?’ he said. Estrada also said (COA Chairman Grace) Tan’s testimony before the Blue Ribbon Committee hearing was also deliberately selective and blatantly incomplete, like her `special audit report.’

“That report covered 82 non-government organizations (NGOs) that received pork barrel. `But what was conveniently presented by Pulido Tan during the hearing were only eight. She even classified these eight as Napoles NGOs,’ said Estrada, referring to the alleged mastermind in the P10 billion pork barrel scam, Janet Lim Napoles, who was charged with plunder alongside the three opposition senators…”

WHERE IS BONG REVILLA’S SPEECH ON THE PORK SCAM? And, where is the privilege speech that is supposed to come from Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. clarifying his inclusion as a respondent in the Ombudsman cases for plunder and malversation of funds in connection with the pork barrel scam? Why has he become so silent now? Tactical or legal strategy, or silence brought about by having nothing to say?

CAN LAWYERS TALK TO MEDIA ABOUT THEIR CASES? Lawyer Lorna Kapunan should welcome the directive of Justice Secretary Leila De Lima for government prosecutors to ask the Makati City court to cite her, Kapunan, in contempt of court, for talking to media about the serious illegal detention case against her client, Janet Lim Napoles. This should clarify, once and for all, whether the current practice of lawyers talking to mediamen about their cases pending in courts should be continued or not.

The truth is that, there are many lawyers who talk openly about the merits or demerits of their cases, even those pending before the Supreme Court, and yet are not cited in contempt or are not penalized in any manner. This proves the ambivalence of the supposed rule against talking about a case while it is on-going. Based on my own experience, it is time for a definitive ruling on this point.

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By Batas Mauricio

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