[Excerpt of an exchange with the venerable Alecks Pabico himself on the PCIJ Blog shoutbox on 06 April 2006]
Alecks : Don't feign innocence, Benign0. You should very well know -- and in case you are not aware of it, then we are telling you -- that you've been the most abusive user on this blog. We've warned you several times but you just kept mocking our blog rules, taunting everybody who happens to have a contrary view, even using our site for your shameless self-promotion. We've tolerated you and your obvious lack (if not disdain) of netiquette for far too long. You should at least consider it a favor that you still get to post comments in the shoutbox.
jr_lad : maybe you should try doing it in sassy lawyer’s blog. try to be critical about her and you're automatically banned from her blog. i remember there was a discussion about that "komiks" thing and djb was trying to argue the case of pcij raising a legitimate question. he was autmatically banned by sassy lawyer because djb's view is contrary to theirs. the point here is what Melbourne said, pcij can do whatever they want in this blog. it’s their prerogative. they can choose whatever topic they want to post and we can’t do anything about it. plain and simple. jester can also attest to that because he moderates & screens posts in his blog also.
mowa : e ban nyo na yang benign0 me tililing ata yan e
benign0 : Alecks: FIVE POINTS: (1) "Several times"? If I recall right there was only one warning. (2) Cite an example of an "abusive" comment. (3) I recall that the point I was banned was the time I was raising a point about the 1,300 lives-impact vs. the no-impact-on-the-masses-news that PCIJ love to devote bandwidth to. (4) No intention on my part to dictate how you run your blog -- only expressing my views (probably in a form you disagree with to be fair to you guys). (5) Thanks for continuing to allow me to use the shoutbox.
mowa : its better to ban him forever ..
benign0 : Crucify him! Crucify him! Sound familiar?
mowa : u have a sense of humour!!
benign0 : The irony is that by seeing the humour in my previous shout, you kinda get the point that I am trying to bring across. Put it this way: It's kind of a different feeling getting one's feathers ruffled -- specially for a bunch of people who made a name ruffling the Establishment's feathers, eh?
Alecks : You have a selective memory. Your incessant harping on the dearth in blog posts on the Southern Leyte disaster wasn't the reason we had to put you on the blacklist. I don't have to enumerate to you the times you've shown yourself to be a bigoted, self-righteous, pontificating know-it-all. You should go back to your comments. We don't have problems dealing with criticism. That's why we even came out with this blog, opening ourselves up to scrutiny and accountability -- which is a difficult thing to do for journalists. But yours is not the healthy and illuminating kind as it's meant more to heckle and show off. Such arrogance deserves no space here.
benign0 : Alecks: I don't have a problem with criticism either. I might use the 5 points as a context to my response: (1) So you do acknowledge it was not "several times"? (2) You have got the data, so cite examples of my rude/bigoted nature, (3) this is related to point 1: if it wasn't the Leyte issue that got me banned, what point was the decision made? (4) so the issue is not my desire to dictate, but more about my perceived arrogance? (5) "you're welcome" would have sufficed here.
Alecks : You're a repeat offender, Benign0. I've lost count how many times I've had to come in to remind some of you here, especially you, of the rules of the blog. So don't give me this crap and pretend that you never felt alluded to. No point arguing your case now.
benign0 : Suit yourself Alecks. I would have thought though that FACTS are a staple of "investigative" journalists. Just noticed though, Alecks, that you guys never did directly respond to my innocent observation about the focus of the PCIJ on non-Pinoy-masses-impacting stories (in light of events -- and their associated issues -- that, in the blink of an eye, snuff out thousands of INNOCENT PINOYS). Instead we seem more inclined to playing the well-it-is-our-blog card whenever this little question gets raised...
Alecks : My, what can I say? Your being a repeat offender is a fact. But you will always have a way of twisting things to suit your ends. That is why it's pointless to reason out with you.
Just this last, to address your issues with us regarding the Southern Leyte disaster. First, the obvious reason for the few posts about it is geographical distance. It's physically far from our research radar. We exert effort to give readers a different take on issues and not just duplicate what news sites already have. It would have been a breeze if we had written about Southern Leyte's fragile ecosystem before.
But since we haven't, we've had to look for sources other than the traditional ones being quoted in the media. If it will satisfy you to hear, the next issue of our magazine tackles the Ginsaugon tragedy in-depth.
Second, did I ever say in my post that we made an investigative report on the disaster? Read again and try to comprehend before firing off your brand of sarcasm our way, for a change. I said the blog has allowed us to cover political and social issues on a day-to-day basis, applying investigative techniques as much as we could. The two posts on the blog about the Leyte tragedy are certainly not investigative reports, and we make no pretense about it. If you're not able to tell the difference, that's not our problem. (Our full-blown investigations are found on our website.) Enough said.
benign0 : Thanks for that enlightening response Alecks. Now that wasn't too hard, was it?
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