Maria Ressa says ‘talk the walk’ yet fails to act on possible violations of bank secrecy laws by Rappler reporters

In a speech delivered at the Integrity Initiative Forum co-organized by the Makati Business Club (MBC), the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP), Management Association of the Philippines (MAP) and the American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (Amcham), Maria Ressa, CEO and “thought leader” of self-described ‘social news network’ Rappler.com emphasized the importance of integrity and ‘talking the walk‘ in the “fight against corruption” that she asserts is on-going today. Ressa insists that “You have to do what’s right — not just for your company, but for yourself.” She goes on, “It’s that simple. And you must make it that simple.”

Ressa then goes on to introduce the concept of “evil”…

Because corrupt people don’t think they’re corrupt. Just like evil people don’t think they’re evil. How do you get to become corrupt or evil? You take one small step across a line.

…as if anyone can really presume to be an authority on what is or isn’t “evil” much less define exactly what “evil” actually is.

One of her ideas, was particularly interesting, because it had to do with the ill-understood concept of “taking responsibility”…

Take responsibility for what you say and what you do. Will you act this way if everyone can see what you’re doing? Statements like ‘only following orders’ or ‘everyone else is doing it’ abdicates responsibility. Remember, how you behave is completely under your control.

I wonder then how Rappler.com “reporters” Magtanggol de la Cruz and Carmela Fonbuena are living up to Ressa’s call for people to take responsibility for their actions in light of the behaviour they had exhibited during the impeachment trial of former Chief Justice Renato Corona.

Section 8 of Republic Act 6426 (“Foreign Currency Deposit Act of the Philippines”) states that foreign currency accounts are “absolutely confidential”…

Section 8. Secrecy of foreign currency deposits. All foreign currency deposits authorized under this Act, as amended by PD No. 1035, as well as foreign currency deposits authorized under PD No. 1034, are hereby declared as and considered of an absolutely confidential nature and, except upon the written permission of the depositor, in no instance shall foreign currency deposits be examined, inquired or looked into by any person, government official, bureau or office whether judicial or administrative or legislative, or any other entity whether public or private; Provided, however, That said foreign currency deposits shall be exempt from attachment, garnishment, or any other order or process of any court, legislative body, government agency or any administrative body whatsoever. (As amended by PD No. 1035, and further amended by PD No. 1246, prom. Nov. 21, 1977.)

Yet during Corona’s trial, Rappler.com “online reporter” Magtanggol de la Cruz published the balance of one of Corona’s foreign currency deposits in an article that bears the ironic title ‘Secrecy in foreign currency deposits‘ dated the 8th of Feb…

The latest one that has grabbed my attention has to do with whether or not a Philippine bank can be compelled via a subpoena to disclose information relating to a foreign currency bank deposit of its depositor, in this case, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

The scuttlebutt, of course, is that Justice Corona has a US$[bleep] deposit held by the Philippine Savings Bank (PSBank) and that the prosecutors even know its account number.

…refering to a previous article dated the 4th of Feb where “online reporter” Carmela Fonbuena reveals not only that dollar amount but the account number where it is deposited as well…

The $[bleep] deposited in account number [bleep] is supposedly just one of 14 accounts that the Chief Justice and his wife Cristina individually and jointly own with daughter Carla Castillo and her husband Constantino III. Prosecution wants the branch manager of PSBank Katipunan branch to appear before the court and bring the bank documents on February 7, Tuesday.

These potential criminal acts by these Rappler.com “journalists” surely reflected badly on the integrity of the Senate impeachment court that administered Corona’s trial which, it can be argued, became party to violations of bank secrecy laws when it allowed admission of evidence obtained by unlawful means.

Ressa speaks with some sort of self-administered authority on what it means to “take responsibility”. Yet to this day we have not seen any sort of action taken or rectifications made with regard to the behaviour of her so-called “online journalists”. So much for “talking the walk”. I think it’s supposed to be the other way around, Ms Ressa.

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29 Comments on “Maria Ressa says ‘talk the walk’ yet fails to act on possible violations of bank secrecy laws by Rappler reporters”

  1. Maria Ressa was the brain in the Wowoowee Shows, of Revillame; when she was still with the ABS CBN. The propaganda network tool of the : YellowTards, the Oligarchs, and Noynoy Aquino. If you talk about responsibility, and integrity. You must be blameless yourself, to have a credibility. I suspect, Maria Ressa has an ulterior motive on her recent speech. To justify, her role in the impeachment of Justice Corona. She may have a “guilty conscience”…or she is still debating with herself, if this was right or wrong. I bet she is confused…

  2. No…I’m talking about the motive of Maria Ressa…only…public interest is yours to decide…on your own opinion…

  3. Using “corrupt” methods to take down corrupt people, or rather, those suspected of corruption, is a terrible self-contradiction, I think.

  4. Maybe I am stuck in the 20th century but I thought journalists are supposed to report the news and not be the news. Oh , I forgot what country this is.

  5. Maria Ressa is a sell-out through and through. There is no ethical bone in her body. I would liken her to the Makapili (Filipino traitors) just like Noynoy Aquino’s grandfather who collaborated with the Japanese to torture and kill Filipino heroes.

  6. The term “crab mentality” is used to describe a kind of selfish, short-sighted
    thinking which runs along
    the lines of “if I can’t have
    it, neither can you.” This term is especially widely
    used among Filipinos, who
    use it specifically to refer to
    people who pull other
    people down, denigrating
    them rather than letting them get ahead or pursue
    their dreams. As a general
    rule, an accusation of having
    a crab mentality is a poor
    reflection on someone’s
    personality.

    1. Kris, I almost missed you. Then again I almost miss my addiction to shabu. Not sure how your crab mentality rant relates to this thread.

    2. it’s really ironic that your post is really about you,fishcrap.

      Better lay off the solvent, it is clearly destroying your teeny tiny brain.

  7. She used to have my respect. But her sort of authority in delivering news during the impeachment trial showed that she`s a mercenary willing to destroy the defendant CJ rather than a reporter.

  8. “Zimbardo gives evil a psychologically based definition: ‘Evil consists in intentionally behaving in ways that harm, abuse, demean, dehumanize, or destroy innocent others – or using one’s authority and systemic power to encourage or permit others to do so on your behalf.'”

    So how is exactly Maria Ressa practicing as she preaches if she allowed her flunkies to demonize Corona before any verdict against him was handed out, hmm?

    As I’ve said before, she might not be part of ABS-CBN anymore, but she still acts like she’s been kissing their and Malacanang’s *ss.

  9. they may have broken the law but its a stupid law anyway. at least they did it in the search for truth and ill-gotten wealth. fellatio, for example, is illegal in malaysia. does that mean that couples should wait for it to be legalized??? i bet they’re doin it right now hehe so yes we should rescind these laws that are holding back our search for justice

    1. Fact: Only those who have an angry mob mindset will say that the Bank Secrecy Law is a stupid. Just because you have a dollar account doesn’t mean you have to steal.

      So it’s like saying that we must all lie in search for truth. Breaking the rules in order to search for truth is ridiculous. Corona’s ‘ill-gotten wealth’ was never been proven. And what you’re looking for is selective justice.

      1. so corrupt officials can just hide their ill-gotten wealth in dollar accounts and be immune? i was just commenting on the absolutism of the law. whats up with u?

        1. Failed logic.

          Just because there is a dollar secrecy law, it doesn’t mean you have a license to steal. Corona is within the bound of the law not to declare his dollar deposits.

    2. It’s like you’re also saying that jaywalking is not stupid because you’re in a hurry to cross the other side of the road. Hell, you’re just like those emo pinoys who are outraged by china’s decision on punishing the pinoy drug mules by death penalty when it is based on their law they follow. I have 4 words for you moron: dura lex sed lex.

      Just admit that you’re only abusing your freedom with your emo trolling here only to make yourself feel better. If this country becomes a s***hole like somalia someday, consider yourself and the other morons like you responsible for the mess.

  10. Maria Ressa, for me, completely and irrevocably lost all her credibility in the meeting between the press and the police after the failed rebellion by one of our “honorable” senators at The Peninsula Manila in 2007.

    After Razon said they were following proper police procedures in their request for all civilians to vacate the premises and their post-incident holding and processing of the journalists who chose to stay inside. Razon said the procedures were based on laws of the land and were put in place because of prior criticism of poor crime-scene handling by the police. The criticism, he said, if I remember correctly, came from the media and is thus why they, the police, welcomed the “kapihan with the media” in the first place.

    Ressa then declared that they, journalists, too follow guidelines concerning their safety and security. And that, they at ABS-CBN, leave it to the journalist on the scene to determine their safety.

    I was watching this on the TV, and all I could think was “WTF?!? Did Ressa just equate guidelines with the law?” I so wanted to go the the Peninsula that day to ask her and the KBP what weighed more, their guidelines or the law.

    The entire Peninsula Manila incident is a very good example of when the journalists make and become the news. Another one would be the Quirino grandstand hostage taking.

    1. If someone has a copy of that kapihan, it would be nice to have that in youtube as a somewhat-permanent counter to Ressa whenever she says anything.

  11. Maria Ressa,Mediocre Reporter of CNN…now an incompetent stooge of Gina Lopez.From bad to worst,retrogression is the name of her game.

  12. There may be things of goodwill in journalism; here in game-scribbling, dexterity in manner of twisting events reside in all practicable perception, to nowhere but media business and it should be good business.

    Get rich and get richer be-the-media-boss-one-day is now in Maria’s lap, she is one tough writer and media hub for a lot of struggling media persons. In this business, one may need sponsors. It’s just so impossible not to have one.

    Is there anyone from amongst who dare scribble not having one? I doubt it.

    When your sponsor/s command you to lie, you lie. Oh we all lie a lot for Christ sake!

  13. are we talking about maria ressa or just her underlings? because of it’s the latter i don’t think maria deserves every comment i have just read. a member’s mistake is the group’s mistake. but our dignity should never be involved. do you consider yourself a thief if your co-employee is one?

  14. its ironic.
    we fry the small fishes rather the big ones.

    sure those online journalist made a mistake, but let’s also consideration who gave those data to them. and i think those you gave it, is in much worse situation than those online journalist we are flaming here.

    sure, sue them journalist, but at least we caught the big fish, thanks to them.

    serving justice doesn’t mean you don’t get your hands ‘dirty’.

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