They who shoot the messenger

By August 22, 2022Random Thoughts

By Leonardo Micua


IT is understandable that in the exercise of our practice as journalists there are a number of our news subjects who are sensitive to negative reports and criticisms and would do all to discredit us – shoot us. But still many others who are true public servants who encourage us and shower us with praises. They inspire us.

But much as I don’t want to magnify a recent ugly incident at the Sangguniang Panlungsod where I was shown the way out by a Dagupan City councilor while they were holding a committee hearing, there are things that need to be clarified.

While I consider rude treatments to members of the press as one of the hazards of the trade, this councilor who looked at me with scorn accused me of falsehoods in my report about him and his group for their public actions. What he deliberately missed out to say was to refute which detail of my report was not factual and true. My report was based on facts.

Frankly, I still could not see what he thought he gained from calling me out in the middle of the committee hearing. Was it his intention merely to rant and to redress his grievances against me and my paper to redeem himself in public eye? That’s foul.

I must confess this was not the most serious bullying I got in the many years that I exercised my journalism practice. But this one is bizarre because the councilor used his parliamentary privilege to bully a member of the press who’s doing his work, covering an event that involves public interest.

Though I was seated far from the head table, he dared me to speak out but I hesitated since  I was not among the resource speakers invited to that hearing, and also because I knew that anything that I had to say would not be germane to the subject matter being discussed in that hearing. After a brief  exchange on my purpose, I simply walked out.

Later on, I was informed that he and his group have long been harboring a personal grudge against me and the paper for the stories we published in the past.

I only hope this verbal abuse will not be followed by physical violence that my 73-year-old body might be incapable of fending off.

Speaking of shooting messengers, here’s something the councilor and his allies can chew on. My editor, Emin Garcia  Jr., has this to say about the incident. He said since he calls the shots in this paper, editing and rewriting all the news, he is the right person to whom the councilor should address his grievances. I rest my case.

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In the Pangasinan provincial government, we are waiting with bated breath when and whom Governor Mon-Mon Guico will name as his public information officer.

We heard the name of Cris Zuniga, the former news presenter of ABS-CBN North-Central Luzon, being endorsed as the new PIO, and personally I am supporting that endorsement not only because Cris is very qualified to the position but is also a friend to most if not all  practicing media men in Pangasinan. 

We note that many good projects of the good governor are not highlighted in the media and if at all, only on Facebook and in only few beautiful lines, that a news person like me find difficulty in connecting the dots to make it into a news. 

Governor Guico should communicate his projects to the Pangasinenses through his PIO, otherwise his constituents will begin to think he has not been keeping his campaign promises.

We know Guv Guico is very busy and an active person but his activities are meaningless if these are not communicated well in the mainstream media, either in print, broadcast or TV.

Or is it possible he underestimates the influence of the mainstream media, which is why he doesn’t believe the appointment of a PIO is essential? I hope not. 

Dagupan Mayor Belen Fernandez’s city information office is very  active. It gets all the important information about her administration out and fast, making her engagement with her constituents proactive.

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