Crowdsourcing the Maria Ressa and Lilibeth Frondoso tsismis

gossipTo give credit to ‘investigative journalist’ Raissa Robles, who pioneered the journalistic technique of investigative crowdsourcing, blog comment threads are indeed treasure troves of dirt on a who’s-who list of the Philippines’ hottest celebrities. People can be called out for shoplifting just on the basis of hearsay, and the portfolios of Chief Justices laid bare for the public to ogle on the bases of mere haka-haka.

You gotta love social media and its “practitioners”.

Here’s one from a commenter who goes by the handle ‘Justice’ posted on a comment on Get Real Post

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Disclosure: I used to work in ANC.

I used to watch Maria Ressa on CNN back in the days. You can imagine how happy I was when I heard that she was coming on board as a News Consultant to ABS-CBN to give our news organization the overhaul that it needed. Her ideas were fresh and her positive vibe was infectious. I was glad that Maria came on board. Many controversies hounded Maria during her tenure, but there were two controversial moves that haunted her the most.

1. When she fired 35 people. (Frankly, the 35 people she axed needed to go.)

2. When she had an affair with the Producer, Lilibeth Frondoso while she was in a long time relationship with another woman.

Frankly, it’s really none of our business who Maria goes out with. It’s not really the fact that Maria Ressa is a Lesbian that shocked us, after all that was in 2005. We were a progressive bunch and a lot of our news reporters were out and Gay that we loved dearly.

No, it wasn’t the news that Maria Ressa was a lesbian that was shocking.

What shocked us was:

1. Maria, A woman of principles, who turn down bribes and tells us to be fearless, is cheating on her current long term partner. I had many conversations with Maria, and I wouldn’t think she was the cheating kind. If this was in the US newsroom, this was grounds for termination. If this was in America, she’d stepped down because Gen Petreus dishonored his position. Maria Ressa’s standards are American. In fact, that’s why she was brought to the newsroom, to uplift the standard of Philliipine Journalism to the Standards used in US! Maria authored the ethical code of conduct! Cheating is not a good ethical conduct, and with someone from the office? Professionalism out of the window.

2.Sad to say, the Producer, Lilibeth Frondoso is not worth leaving anyone for. Why? On a superficial level, she’s not a looker. On her background, we knew she has 3 children (she was proud of them) and the father, a member of the NPA group, Alex Boncayao brigade. Her career? A lackluster performance at ABS-CBN. Underperformer. Why would Maria leave her longterm partner for this kind of person? Plus, Lilibeth, despite her siga nature, was known to be STRAIGHT. People doubted that she was a lesbian even with her belly and boycut hair.

People at the office said that Beth went for Maria for survival because Beth was supposed to be part of the 35 who was going to get fired.

Maria, on the other hand, needed allies. Beth provided her with support to continue with the “good fight” that her current partner couldn’t provide, that’s why Maria went with her. People close to Maria also said that Maria, despite her accomplishments was an affirmation addict. Beth new this vulnerability and insecurity of Maria and she latched on it.

It really shouldn’t matter who Maria goes out with, but this relationship affected the newsroom. Their affair lowered the morale of the newsroom where promotions and achievements were based on merit and good performance, not on who you go out with. Beth acted like she owned the newsroom. Beth was not impressive as a Producer. Her lackluster performance inside the newsroom was covered because she delegated, and she hired people who were better than her. She was quiet and private, but she never hid the fact that she was going out with Maria, who was already promoted as Head of News.

My view on Maria changed after learning she was going out with Beth Frondoso. Maria, with all her credentials and achievements turns out has no taste and settled when it came to women. I couldn’t believe “eto lang ang katapat niya.” Kala ko pa naman, sosyal si Maria. Then after thinking about it, It’s not as if Maria Ressa is a looker herself. Short, Dark and with Skin Asthma, what Maria going for her is that she’s rich.

Beth is far from sosyal. Pa sosyal, pwede pa. After they started their affair, Beth was suddenly heard speaking English, a language she hasn’t mastered, but at least she tries.

So magka level sila.

Beth has been on the receiving end of this relationship. After working in ABS-CBN for 11 years, she moved to CNN as the Manila stringer, now she’s working at Rappler along side her lover. Beth has no shame in this. What do you take for a woman who steals another woman, her boss no less, why would accepting jobs she didn’t earn be an issue to her?

Beth admitted to a confidant in the newsroom that Maria took her places that she herself would never go, and that people like Karen Davila, Kim Atienza, Ces Drilon, noticed her unlike before when they *just* regarded her as one of the Producers. She now gained respect, not for her work, but because she’s now Maria Ressa’s buttercup.

What was kadiri to death was the story that one time, Beth went inside Maria’s office one afternoon. Though the door was closed, people heard pants and heavy breathing. When they both left the office, Maria with her dark complexion, looked flushed. Beth smugly told someone in the newsroom that she [performed a service to] Maria in the office. This is Beth’s way of showing who was in charge between the two of them.

We wondered who was the Alpha Male between the two, but we all said the person with money is in control of the relationship.

In fairness to Beth and Maria, theirs was a happy ending. Maria used to live in Makati, Beth used to live in Quezon City in a rented house with her 3 children, namely Lejuene who graduated from Interior Design from UP, Uyo an Engineering student at UPLB and Luis, a highschool senior from Claret. None of them took after their hoodlum father, thank God! Now, the entire family lives in Greenhills in a gated community where Beth likes to shop in VirraMall. This is an upgrade from her Isettan days. Beth’s 3 children didn’t approve of Maria at first, but they all relented when they realized that Maria pays for their tuition and standards of living, something their father, Lejune De La Cruz, a gun man for hire can’t provide.

At work, Maria Ressa fought Luchi Cruz Valdez, Charie Villa, Chi Gonzales and Cheryl Favila. Maria was not well liked by Charo Santos. Maria had difficulty with authority and with people who have ideas who are better than hers. This is one of the reason why the people at Rappler are young, and not senior with substance like at Abs-cbn. Maria also got the Abs-cbn rejects like Rupert Ambil, who Beth once had a relationship with before Maria. Correction, Beth TRIED to have a relationship with Rupert but was rejected immediately.

I tell this story because Maria Ressa used to be my idol, until she let go of her own principles for this woman at the expense of the newsroom’s values of fairness, meritocracy and ideals.

I’m just glad that she’s no longer at ABS-CBN, the most powerful news organization in the Philippines, and is now at Rappler. Rappler is nothing. They say that she created Rappler to remain relevant to the Philippines, after all, who is she without a job? A job that defines her as a person.

Now I read that she’s protecting a 40something couple. Hmmn, I guess she hasn’t changed after all. Lies, going behind people’s back, limited disclosure…reminds me when she was having an affair in the newsroom of Abs-cbn. Some things never changed.

Not that there is anything wrong with being gay… 😉

But what I do find wrong is getting away with not walking the talk. After all, 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.”

Excuse me but it was moi who originally made the phrase a household philosophy…

Yes it is!

Never mind the beeping gaydars, but there is one little thing that still hasn’t been resolved about the way Rappler reporters behaved back during the Renato Corona impeachment trial when they compromised confidentiality of alleged dollar accounts protected by Philippine Law

Interestingly, “social news network” “online reporter” Magtanggol de la Cruz published the balance of one of those 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.

Kanya-kanyang “source” lang yan. There is “online journalism” and there is online journalism. In the latter, it is the crowds that ultimately validate the credibility of content, not money coming from shady shareholders.

Is it true or is it false? The readers will be the judge, and their comments the voice of said judgment.

11 Replies to “Crowdsourcing the Maria Ressa and Lilibeth Frondoso tsismis”

  1. Basing the the majority of this article on a single-source and not listing any statements or interviews which corroborate these accusations is nothing more than GOSSIP… Sorry guys! Epic FAIL on this one!

    1. If you want that sort of rigour, you go to mainstream media. This is a blog – a part of that proverbial crowd where wisdom is sourced, as our self-described social media mavens like to point out…

    2. But the point of the article is not the truthfulness of the “accusation” per se – it is merely to highlight crowdsourcing as an information source.

      As the author points out, there is Rappler’s brand of online journalism, which is otherwise traditional journalism fancied up in a website but is still seemingly driven by private interests. And then there is online journalism which uses crowdsourcing, which is driven by commentators who leave such snippets of “information” on blogs such as this.

      Although some Rappler correspondents are known to practice crowdsourcing too, like Raissa Robles, this article merely makes Rappler, Maria Ressa in particular, the subject of such crowdsourcing. Note that there is no judgment call from the author attesting that the story is indeed true.

      At the end of the day the author can simply say:

      “No, we’re not saying Maria Ressa is a hypocritical self-righteous affirmation addict. Heavens, no.”

    3. In short, if you want to be part of social media, you need to decide a few things:

      (1) How much of your personal identity you are willing to put out there to subject to public scrutiny.

      (2) Whether that amount of personal identity (as a function of what you decide in Item (1) above) can take as much as it dishes out.

      People may judge anonymous digital characters, but really, people who rely on their personal credentials and character to lend credibility to the content they publish do so at a cost to their privacy because the value of their content is presumably accounted for partly by their very person.

      Anonymous entities, on the other hand, rely ENTIRELY on the trust earned by a consistent online persona that enables it to stand on its own on the strength and quality of the ideas it represents (i.e. said entity is right not because of who he/she is but because the ideas he/she tables has been tested by time and intense critical scrutiny).

      1. If so many nasty rumors come up about someone, makes one wonder whether that someone is really nasty. Like that thing I heard on Panfilo Lacson reportedly having someone killed because he wanted that guy’s wife. But then again, some rumors could be made up to destroy people. Hopefully, you could tell which kind of rumor is which.

  2. This also highlights the different between blogging and journalism. Who was that Palace executive who said bloggers are journalists… wrong. Blogging is not journalism, it’s just making public anything on your mind, much like a diary, or making a newspaper column without the newspaper. Sometimes, even questionable resources and questionable means are used.

    And real journalism is supposed to be free of agenda. And there are rules. Such as citing your sources, and not making public something that should be confidential. Based on what we see above in the article… we know what that other site really is.

  3. Is Maria Ressa, Protecting the family of a Communist Rebel/Ambush Man for hire?

    In life, it’s our choices that define us. Our choices, whether good or bad will determine our future.

    Maria Ressa’s Choices:

    Maria Ressa wants to be successful. She studied hard and got in at Princeton University. After school, she chose to go back to the Philippines instead of working in the USA. She chose to create something meaningful and thus, Probe was born. CNN notice the diamond that is Maria, and decided to make her the Manila correspondent. Maria chose to have a flourishing journalism career and stayed with CNN for over 2 decades. Maria chose to give up her CNN career and work at ABS-CBN. When her bosses decided to reinstate Korina and Noli, she chose to leave and start her own company, Rappler.

    Lilibeth Frondoso’s choices:

    At 19, most college kids are busy with their school orgs and decide where they would take their summer internship. At 19, Lilibeth Frondoso got pregnant. Perhaps that wasn’t a choice, but an accident. But 2 years later, she gave birth to her second son, Uyo, and again to Luis 3 years later. Other people choose to finish school despite the odds. Lilibeth decided to drop out of college and not finish. Other people choose their partners well, but Lilibeth chose to get pregnant by a man named Lejun Dela Cruz, who is part of the communist group, Alex Boncayao Brigade, and later, Alab Katipunan. Other people, like Maria work hard to get where they are. Lilibeth chose to be a lazy, good for nothing person and have no accomplishments of her own. At ABS-CBN, she chose to steal Maria from another woman in order to not be a casualty at Maria’s cleansing of the Newsroom. She chose to rest on Maria’s accomplishments to bolster her career. From Abs-cbn, to becoming the CNN stringer, to joining Newsbreak to now working at Rappler. All through the efforts and influence of Maria. Other people would have chosen to forge their own path, Lilibeth chose to have Maria show her the way.

    Lejun Dela Cruz’s choices:

    Lejun Dela Cruz left his former live in partner, Lilibeth Frondoso and his 3 children and chose to be an outlaw-ambush man-communist for hire instead of earning his keep the right way.

    Their Choices:

    Maria Ressa is a lesbian. Maybe that’s not a choice, but nature decided that for her. Maria was going out with another woman and chose to leave her for Lilibeth. Others would choose their partners wisely, but Maria chose to have a partner that she kept a secret from the newsroom. (ashamed of Lilibeth?) Lilibeth can choose to be her own woman, but decided to be under the shadow of Maria Ressa. Lejun chose to leave his family, and be an outlaw. Maria chose to clean up Lilibeth and Lejun’s mistakes and take care of Lilibeth and her 3 children. (Awww) Lejun Delacruz has been inside Lilibeth, and had his 3 children. Maria goes down on Lilibeth. Eww. Kadiri to death. Lejun must be thrilled.

    Is Maria Ressa, protecting the family of a Communist Rebel/Gunman for hire? No, worse, she made them her OWN family. Maria now lives with Lilibeth and her 3 children in a gated community in Greenhills. These are Lilibeth’s and Lejun’s choices in life. Maria made them hers too.

  4. Hello just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The words in your
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  5. dunno how i ended up here, but as a former social media manager, I know who Maria Ressa was with, before this affair with Beth Frondoso came about. She was with Charie Villa. How did I find out? Our company is owned by a veteran columnist and the PA used to be a manager in a sosyal magazine. She said MR and CV were together for a long time but nawala. Pero she doesn’t know what happened. To connect the dots, your story makes sense. I think in the publishing field in PH, pag hindi matigas ang sikmura mo sa tsimis, you won’t last long. Like you, I adored MR for all her work, pero when she started Rappler, hindi ko sya maintindihan, trying to be relevant in the age of digital. I think somehow they got their footing into being investigative, but if ever they have core values, it’s totally gone and well, look at what their facing now.

    I don’t care whoever she goes out with or who she is, pero the choices she made naman. Love is a choice diba? I don’t think Beth Frondoso is worth all that.

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