On the lameness of the ‘apology’ of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

And we wonder why — no, we lament that — there is such an astounding culture of impunity in the Philippines. It is because for the trouble of acceding to an invitation to speak the truth before a panel of men in scarlet robes, private citizens cop ridicule from an institution we’ve for so long been made to believe are the least likely to deliver offense: our supposed “guardians” of “truth and justice” a distinction which former tabloid and now “broadsheet” the Philippine Daily Inquirer fancies itself as the concept corporate embodied.

The Philippine Daily Inquirer, however, benefited immensely from the rise to power of the Aquino-Cojuangco feudal clan. In the lead up to the 1986 “people power” “revolution”, the then fledgling tabloid was lucky enough to have bet on the right horse. It was a big bet made while supposedly espousing reporting objectivity as evident in its chosen slogan “Balanced News, Fearless Views”. The most recent spectacular contradiction of this ironic slogan can be found as late as the beginning of 2011 when the Inquirer proclaimed newly-installed Philippine President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III “Filipino of the Year” for 2010. This was despite Noynoy having been in office only six months as President — a period marked by a litany of astounding gaffes, most notable of which is a bungled handling of diplomatic relations with China after a botched hostage rescue operation resulted in the deaths of nine Hong Kong tourists in August of 2010.

This sorry record did not stop the Inquirer from gushing on its hallowed pages how Noynoy was “the living Filipino who made the most positive impact in 2010” and even started calling him a “rock star” — one who was bigger than singer Arnel Pineda (lead singer of the American rock band Journey). Even more incredible, the Inquirer used as its basis “survey” results from “research” firms Social Weather Station and Pulse Asia that showed what at the time was a high satisfaction and trust rating given the president by the Filipino public. Never mind, of course, that both firms are owned by Noynoy’s relatives and friends.

So it is quite unfortunate that all of this blatant bias coming from a newspaper that purports to be “fearless” and “balanced”, now finds its most recent victim in Demetrio Vicente who exhibited more balance and fearlessness as he took the witness stand at the impeachment trial of Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona last Tuesday, the 13th of March than any Inquirer editor could likely ever know. The front page of the 14th March issue of the Inquirer featured a collage of unflattering photos of Vicente who had reportedly previously suffered a stroke.

This inability to live up to its tacky slogan is evident in the manner with which the venerable “broadsheet” issued its delayed “apology” for this spectacular lapse in editorial judgement.

The Inquirer apologizes to its readers who took offense to the newspaper’s use of a series of photographs of a defense witness, Demetrio Vicente, who testified on Tuesday in the Senate impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato C. Corona.

The Inquirer issued a statement acknowledging that Vicente’s photos, which appeared on the front page of the newspaper’s two-star edition and on Page A20 of its one-star edition on Wednesday, had offended some of its readers.

“For this, we sincerely apologize. It is not our intention to disparage Mr. Vicente in any way,” the Inquirer said on its official Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Note the carefully- and cleverly-chosen words. The apology;

(1) did NOT directly address Mr Vicente;

(2) did NOT acknowledge the disrespect and lack of taste it exhibited; and,

(3) did NOT express regret.

Instead, the Inquirer‘s “apology”;

(a) denied any impropriety on the part of the paper;

(b) sought to appease its source of income and primary value proposition to its advertisers (its readership); and,

(c) passed off the information as a news report rather than a sincere message from its editor.

Just another day in the wholesale and profitable abatement of the national intelligence. Such is the Filipino Condition upon which corporate stalwarts such as the Philippine Daily Inquirer scrapes off the icing from its daily cake.

[Photo courtesy Vox Bikol National News.]

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Post Author: benign0

benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.

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38 Comments on "On the lameness of the ‘apology’ of the Philippine Daily Inquirer"

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jay
Guest

vincente comes out with more credibility and respect than the inquirer could ever have.
the only usefulness the paper serves is to wipe your a&se.

Curious Housewife
Guest

Mr. Demetrio Vicente is a HUMAN BEING…he is old and he deserves respect. What you have done here is utterly irresponsible and wow almost inhuman…totally uncalled for…totally unecessary. NAPAKABASTOS. NAPAKAWALANG KAPWA TAO.

Do you want to read a newspaper like this? I know I don’t.

Pinoy Android News
Guest

It’s easy to say sorry when damage is done already…

tambay
Guest

thats why i never read PDI, i read sunstar instead

Amir al Bahr
Guest

the Philippine Daily Inquisition – ang tatapang ng apog!

jay
Guest
the trial – a study in 3rd world stupidity, incompetence & hypocricy. the motives – suspect from start – power & money – self interest cojuangco-aquino – hacienda luisita – 10 billion pesos – an aquino SC the railroading – unconstitutional – signed without reading – ill prepared/written – no discussion – bribery/threats to sign no probable cause, no evidence at outset – trial ‘ a fishing expedition’ no pre-trial – mistake the blackmail, threats, bribery questionable/invalid surveys -appeal to public/emotion – failed the incompetence of prosecution – expected/wanted easy resignation – unprepared for trial the disregard of due process… Read more »
Aegis-Judex
Guest

Now if only that were the case re: number 3, Corona would never have be impeached…right?

bakunawa
Guest

I only read Ramon Tulfo’s column and the comics section.

Please oh please have them moved to another paper.

Trosp
Guest

benign0, you hit the nail right in the head. Very insightful post.

What this unInquirer is doing is very Obama-esque MFM treatment to Penoy.

mommyjo
Guest

Heyy, please Trosp, no comparison with Obama in any manner at all! They’re oceans apart! In terms of intelligence and the smarts, they’re a universe apart. Ok am an Obama fan, read a lot about the guy, and am totally offended when you compare an inept etc person (Aquino) to an intellect (Obama). 🙂

Trosp
Guest

Try to read my comment again. I don’t wish to offend your comprehension.

alconce
Guest
Was it the reason why the late Max Soliven, Art Borjal and Louie Beltran left? The dubious and shameless character of PDI showed when they omitted on purpose the name of Max Soliven and company as one of their founding members in their later anniversary issues.Mr. Vicente was obviously handicapped and how his struggling image lands him in the front page can only be attributed to mischief and to ridicule him because he is a witness of the other side. Maybe the former Senator Boy Herrera can take the cudgels in putting to justice PDI for such discriminatory acts against… Read more »
Lord Chimera
Guest

Mark it well guys this will not be the last witness of the defense to suffer this. Once again PDI has it’s true colors which is yellow.

Paul Farol
Guest

Maybe we should all quite disparaging everyone on the internet. Just saying…

ninjaone
Guest

I agree. Inexcusable. But those are made by irresponsible individuals and their target is not an elderly sick people whose only fault is to testify for an enemy of PDI’s master. Those irresponsible disparaging remarks are not coming the biggest newspaper who has journalistic ethics to follow, who has editors who can correct such bad decisions. But again, that is not to excuse other disparaging remarks.

K3
Guest

I’m sorry, I didn’t mean it.
I’m sorry I did it.

They look similar but the latter apologizes for the deed while the former apologizes for the discrepancy between thought and actions.

Amir al Bahr
Guest

There’s another one:

I’m sorry I got caught.

The lamest of them all, which is what I think PDI’s “apology” was, in essence.

Knightstemplar2012
Guest

Did not even apologize to Mr Vicente whom they have offended in the first place, class less.

Lord Chimera
Guest

Even if they apologized the fact remains that they shouldn’t have done it in the first place. The whole thing is starting to look like an attempt to portray Mr Vicente as a person who mental awareness is questionable in order to discredit him as a reliable witness and the humiliation part was just icing on the cake.

hasik64
Guest

Napakabastos! Napakawalangmodo! Napakawalanghiya!

Trosp
Guest

The unInquirer is always in getting the news out and not in getting the news right.

jeckx2
Guest

Sir hasik64, Inguirer din po ba ang naglagay ng avatar nyo at ni Trosp?

Mercury
Guest

I have read the PDI’s so-called “apology”. It lacks the right emotion alright. I can’t even say they were sincere enough that the apology looked like it was copy-pasted from a spiel source.

I mean, that’s it? They won’t exercise a full effort to make up to it?

Let us not support PDI anymore. It’s a sham.

Yup
Guest

It really pisses me off! I want to shoot CDQ and Neil Cruz in the spinal column with a .22 in order to get the message strait that they should treat person with disabilities with respect,to make them feel the pain of being a paralytic, but it just be a waste of bullets and yellow blood.

brokenphantom
Guest

At the end of the day, you shouldn’t read their Opinion or political tied articles. It will only make you rage and it seems they are successful.

Either read Manila Standard, Philippine Daily Tribune or Philippine Star.

Peste
Guest

It’s understandable to have nasty stuff in the opinion page. What’s even more glaring is how the news articles are presented. The most noticeable of which are the headlines themselves.

Lola
Guest

Apology not accepted.

I’m no lawyer, but I’d like to know if we can file a case against PDI for this utter lack of disrespect to the handicapped. Someone should teach them a lesson and not let them feel, for one second, that we will not forget this shameful act.

Lola
Guest

* double negatives. My bad.

cool ass
Guest

PDI is a member of the Philippine Press Institute. Complains can be forwarded through these contact details:

PHILIPPINE PRESS INSTITUTE
Room 206, B.F. Condominium Building
A. Soriano Ave., Intramuros, Manila
Tels. 5279632, 5274478 Fax 5273390
ppi1@mozcom.com

skarab
Guest

IT’S MORE FUN when you make fun of disabled human beings.

Senior citizens and disabled people’s organizations should sue PDI NOW.

Trosp
Guest

Sounds like “presstitute”…

Wits
Guest

PDI has been doing that for quite some time now. I remember them headlining Erap’s less-than-glamorous shots prior to the latter’s impeachment.

It’s high time they realize the utter tastelessness of that practice.

Those really are cheap shots, pardon the pun.

Hyden Toro
Guest

Newspapers or any Media are tools of those politicians in power. Some are owned by relatives. Some by friends and political allies. Some are just bribed by politicians, to get good features, on their front pages.
You can find more truth in some Blogs. Because most Bloggers do not have any hidden agendas. Although, there are some Bloggers who are biased in favor of their political masters; some also has hidden agendas.
It’s up to the readers to use their common sense, to determine what is true, and what is not. What is biased ; and what is fair…

mommyjo
Guest

Never will I waste my money again with this rag of a paper. I still can’t believe how people couldn’t see this president’s vindictiveness, that it’s splitting this poverty-stricken country apart. has anyone noticed the economy is tanking?