MALAYA: PNoy ON RADYO PATROL: CAN A PRESIDENT SAY WHATEVER IS IN HIS MIND?

MANILA, AUGUST 2, 2012 (MALAYA) Written by DUCKY PAREDES . {‘Was he out-of-line or is the President expected to say whatever is in his mind? Is it part of his duties as President to set things right whenever he sees any of us straying from his chosen path, the Daang Matuwid?’ }

WAS the President out-of-line when, instead of praising the network that invited him to grace the occasion to which he was invited as an honored guest in TV Patrol’s 25th Anniversary, he spoke critically of the way that the network reported the news and, specifically, how (in the President’s view) the main anchor (who was vice president under the previous administration) has been trying to color the news by finding fault with the achievements of the present government.

Why greet viewers a “Magandang gabi, bayan (Good evening, nation)” when you’re dishing out what you report as and what you interpret as bad news? asked the President.

Was he out-of-line or is the President expected to say whatever is in his mind? Is it part of his duties as President to set things right whenever he sees any of us straying from his chosen path, the Daang Matuwid?

The President says that as a young boy, he would listen to ABS-CBN’s “Radyo Patrol” for the latest news.

But, on this occasion, he criticized the show’s anchor, former Vice President Noli de Castro for his skeptical and out-of-place snide remarks that colored the news reports coming from their correspondents. The President had details.

For instance, he cites a news report of a 200 percent increase in arrivals at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3. Noted the President:”

Mr. Aquino was unhappy about the program’s news main anchor, former Vice President Noli de Castro, whom he criticized for what he called his skeptical, out-of-place snide remarks about otherwise good stories by the field reporters.

Mr. Aquino related that in October 2011, the program aired a story about a 200-percent spike in passenger arrivals at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3. Notes the President: “This is good news. In spite of this, one of your news anchors managed to comment, and I quote, ‘Nasa Naia 3 ka kasi; kung nasa Naia 1 ka, doon malala.”

Clearly, Kabayan, since this anchor was Noli de Castro, was out-of-line. Here is the President’s thinking: “It made me wonder, what has the report about Naia 3 got to do with Naia 1? Has anybody said Naia 1 had been fixed? If someone did, it’s not us. Perhaps he has forgotten the structure is 30 years old.

“This is good news. In spite of this, one of your news anchors managed to comment, and I quote, ‘Nasa Naia 3 ka kasi; kung nasa Naia 1 ka, doon malala.’

“It got me to thinking: Didn’t the commentator hold the reins of government for six years? Let’s say they only inherited the problem. But what they passed on to us is a much older problem. He had been given six years to help fix the problem he’s complaining about. And now that we’re dealing with the problem, we still hear comments like that and it hurts.”

Clearly, the President was not so much berating the news anchor as much as the management of the network. After all, why do they give the job of anchor to one who is clearly partisan and why let him say whatever dumb thing comes to his head.

Mr. Aquino spoke before a crowd of ABS-CBN executives, led by chair and chief executive officer Gabby Lopez, president Charo Santos-Concio and news and current affairs division head Ging Reyes as well as officials and staff of “TV Patrol” in the Manila Hotel’s Fiesta Pavilion.

Then, there was that rescue of a Burmese boy who had been kidnapped. It was a great story. The boy was unharmed when rescued by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI). Here’s the President’s complaint: “Everybody was happy except our anchor who managed to remark that maybe the rescue operation was set up and that a ransom was paid.

“No matter how the reporter explained the operation–that the NBI conducted its own surveillance and that they had chanced upon the boy without anybody guarding him–the anchor kept pushing his point.”

“Surely, while patrolling every nook and cranny of the country, you’d stumble upon a positive story that could be a source of inspiration and hope for our countrymen. It’s doubtful that if you air this news, the TV and radio sets of your avid listeners would go on fire.”

The President has a very good point. All he asks is that the news be presented as news without coloring it with the biased insights of someone who was an official of a discredited government and who obviously has several axes to grind against a successful government after their disastrous one where he served as the number two man!

Was the President out-of-line? No. If anyone was, it would be ABS-CBN management, which was insensitive to invite a President who was nightly roasted by their main anchor, expecting him to praise them for the good work they were doing. Did they think that the President would not notice or that he would choose to keep quiet about it?

***

That the proposed coalition between the Liberal Party (LP) and the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) will come up with a unified senatorial ticket in next year’s elections is not a good idea. Basically, it would be a raw deal for the voter who would have no choice but to go with the senatorial slate of the conjoined parties.

Such an alliance is not healthy for the country. We, the voters, ought to always have choices. An election where we are limited to going for the official slate or not voting at all makes us no different from China, Russia, Cuba and other countries where the results of elections are pre-determined even before the first ballot is filled.

No to a LP-UNA Coalition Ticket!


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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