Irresponsible statements

By January 23, 2022Editorial, Punch Gallery

RAPE is a very serious crime. It’s so serious that journalism ethics dictate a rule on how media can report the crime. What ethics did not say is rape cases should not be reported.

Charged of the crime before the Ombudsman by an identified victim is Presidential Adviser Sec. Raul Lambino. That he is a Pangasinense made the crime story of serious concern by local media practitioners. This was underscored no less by Mr. Lambino when he called a press conference on the reported crime.

The influential person that he is, Mr. Lambino sought to redeem himself by discrediting the news report and the victim. That was expected. But he did more than that. He wanted the public to know that he is a very powerful man, and quickly blamed his political enemies for putting up the charge and worse, discredited and threatened local media practitioners who reported and discussed the case.

By resorting to name-dropping, then name-calling and bullying openly those that dared discuss the rape case, his version of trial by publicity worsened his situation.

As a public official of note, his demeanor demeaned himself. Lost was his persona as an accountable high ranking government official worthy of respect. He was wrong to believe that bullying defenseless media practitioners in public will allow him to proceed with his official tasks as if the rape case never existed. Wrong mistake.

While it is his right to file libel cases against those whom he thinks deliberately maligned his person maliciously, his irresponsible name-calling and bullying were obviously aimed at serving another purpose – to kill the rape story involving him.

It’s not going to happen. The criminal charge remains, and media must report.

Uphill battle

IT is still too early for the late dictator’s son to celebrate.  If at all, the Comelec’s (Commission on Elections) three-person Division One’s recent decision to reject the petition canceling the Certificate of Candidacy for president by Ferdinand Marcos Jr. was hollow.  It only adopts a semblance of finality if the seven-person Comelec ratifies it while sitting en banc. Even that may not have a solid leg to stand on.  The Supreme Court may still shoot that down. And how about the six or so other cases calling for the Comelec to disqualify Marcos because, as a convicted tax evader, the law has declared him perpetually disqualified from holding any public position?  It could be a protracted struggle and Marcos only knows too well that he is facing an uphill battle.  Nothing is certain, for sure.  So, hold your horses, fellers.

It’s not over until the fat lady sings.

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