Are the Inquirer and ABS-CBN fulfilling their duty to ‘inform’ Filipinos?

Perhaps Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte was out of line cussing at “news” media organisations and ABS-CBN News. But then his assertions about the instances where he alleges he had been slandered by these media outlets need to be addressed. One such case surrounds reports published during his campaign that he had ₱211 million stashed away in a bank.

The Inquirer fielded dozens of “news reports” on Duterte’s alleged “hidden wealth” kept in an account with the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI). But up to the very last “report”, much of the sources of these “exposés” trace their origins to the originator of this rumour, convicted-then-pardoned mutineer “senator” Antonio Trillanes IV. There was no actual “investigative journalism” conducted by the Inquirer throughout this vilification campaign — only sloppy “journalism” hinged on a single source: the hearsay information of “senator” Axe-To-Grind Trillanes.

Subscribe to our Substack community GRP Insider to receive by email our in-depth free weekly newsletter. Opt into a paid subscription and you'll get premium insider briefs and insights from us.
Subscribe to our Substack newsletter, GRP Insider!
Learn more

Indeed, once confidence in its financial integrity is threatened, a bank eventually looks out for Number One. After keeping mum through much of the Inquirer-led sensationalisation of Trillanes’s accusations, BPI Managing Director Jose Teodoro Limcaoco issued a statement on the 29th April 2016 denying the authenticity of content used by the Inquirer in these “reports”…

“I don’t know where Sen. Trillanes got his information, but the graphic posted by the [Philippine Daily] Inquirer showing alleged credits, that is not a BPI document,” Limcaoco, who used to serve as the president of BPI Family Savings Bank, said in a mobile phone reply.

Limcaoco’s statements distancing his employer from this circus came following growing threats of a bank run against BPI instigated by Filipinos angered over the possibility that BPI had conspired with Trillanes and the Inquirer to flout the Philippines’ bank secrecy laws.

Nonetheless, the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) today issued an equally scathing response to Duterte describing his words as a “rant” that is “incoherent and foulmouthed” and ones that were ” absolutely twisted.” NUJP Secretary General Dabet Panelo went further to assert in his statement…

“Sir, your curses and your threats cannot and will not prevent us, the community of independent Filipino journalists, from fulfilling our duty to inform the people as best we can of what is happening to our country, whether you agree with what we report or not,” he said.

Unfortunately for the NUJP, its statement falls short of actually addressing the core origins not only of Duterte’s rant but the overall distrust Filipinos have developed for the business of “news reporting” mainstream corporate media and its cadre of traditional journalists engage in. Indeed, nowhere in the statement issued by the NUJP were any of Duterte’s grievances, such as that of the sloppy reporting mounted by the Inquirer around the Trillanes’s BPI “exposé”, addressed.

So are the Inquirer and ABS-CBN News teams actually fulfilling their “duty” to “inform the people” as the NUJP asserts?

The answer to that had increasingly become debatable over the last 30 years. Both news organisations, after all, owe their existence and ascent to the heights of profitability they enjoy today to their symbiotic existence with the Aquino-Cojuangco clan and the Roman Catholic Church. Filipinos have since seen through the subtle hijacking of the “EDSA people power revolution” narrative by this industrial-politico-religious trinity of oligarchs and the direct role the Inquirer and ABS-CBN had played in turning Filipinos into docile indoctrinated minions of an ideology that has come to be called “The Cult of Yellow”.

What seems to be happening in Philippine society today is a mass public unplugging from the “matrix” of delusion manufactured by the Inquirer and ABS-CBN and piped into Filipinos’ screens for three decades. Backdropped by that reality, the NUJP’s response to Duterte and the trite assurances of uprightness and righteousness issued by these mainstream media outfits are severely wanting in credibility.

8 Replies to “Are the Inquirer and ABS-CBN fulfilling their duty to ‘inform’ Filipinos?”

  1. This newspaper and TV station have lost their credibility. They are surely partisan. They are only good for show business, but anything to do with politics lacks true journalism, loaded with sensationalism and cut versions to suit their political agenda.

  2. I’d like to remind people of something the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility admitted about journalism in this country: most media in the Philippines are owned by politcians and politically-aligned businessmen. Inquirer and ABS-CBN have been from the beginning partisan in nature. Read Belinda Olivares-Cunanan’s article about Inquirer being founded in partisanship.

    And yes, I’ve read in books about journalism that news agencies are by nature partisan. There is no such thing as objective news, nor will there ever be, as Gadi Wolfsfeld says.

  3. The Aquino Cojuangco political axis, looted the Filipino people’s money thru the : DAP, PDAF, Pork Barrel Bribery,Typhoon Yolanda Funds, etc…

    They also stole the Philippine gold reserves and took the gold loot , for safe keeping in a Bank in Thailand.

    Now, they are using : Fake News, Counter Trolls, ABS-CBN, Inquirer, NUJP, etc.. to cover their rapacious greed, and as a diversionary tactic …

    Trillanes and Panelo are YellowTard instigators and sources of Fake News…they are the foot soldiers of the Aquino Cojuangco political axis, to mislead and disinform the Filipinos !

    Leni “The Bobo” Robredo, the “Naga Leaks” Queen is their muse. Pnoy Aquino and Mar Roxas are their mascots. Porky Drilon is their Darth Vhader.

    It is now the Battle of Trolls…no Frontlines…the HyperSpace is the battlefield….

    Man your “Battle Stations”…Fire at will !

  4. In order to escape accountability for the Failippines media’s crimes, they do everything in their power to promote forgetting. If secrecy fails, the Failippines media attacks the credibility of President Rodrigo “Rody” Roa Duterte. If they cannot silence him absolutely, they try to make sure no one listens.

  5. Pinoys must get over their belief that journalists should be fair. They’re not fair and they never will be. Whenever information is being filtered through a middleman, bias and vested interests are unavoidable. Only the degree of bias will vary. Objective journalists are like unicorns. They don’t exist.

    The solution to media bias is not to lobby for the middleman to change, but to remove the middleman. Use direct channels of communication. All the necessary tools are now available on the internet.

    Recent proof of this was Jimmy Bondoc’s crowdfunding call for the Palit Bise rally. Without any announcement on mainstream media, Bondoc raised something like P2.5 million in 3 or 4 days. All it took was one message on Facebook that went viral. This is absolutely phenomenal.

    I personally didn’t think it was a good idea to hold another rally so soon after the one in February, but congratulations are in order for the organizers of Palit Bise. I’ve watched some of the videos and I must say they’ve created a new “best practice” for conducting political rallies. The foresight to do crowdfunding and keep the trapos out of the picture was brilliant.

    The mix of speeches was great. I liked Gina Lopez’s videotaped speech. Spontaneous, no script, just straight from the gut. Her colegiala accent is much heavier than Leni Robredo’s, and it’s a real colegiala accent, not a put-on accent like Robredo’s, but every word made an impact because it was authentic.

    The musical selections were fantastic. I haven’t listened to Pinoy songs in a long time. I’m not sentimental but I was very moved listening to the modern, nationalistic songs. It was like watching the Filipino regain his soul after losing it to the yellow mafia for the last thirty years. Or maybe the Filipino never really gave his soul up to the yellow mafia, the mainstream media only made it look that way.

    Seriously guys, put those performances in a DVD or put them on iTunes and that can be another crowdfunding effort to raise more funds for the Oust Robredo project.

    There’s a long way to go. Right now there’s a sword hanging over the head of every Filipino, and it can drop any time if something happens to President Duterte and Robredo is still there. What if he slips in the bathroom? What if he chokes on his monggo soup? The only thing protecting the Filipino people from the yellow mafia right now is one 72-year-old man. I hope to God he will be enough.

    But you know, my trade is risk management, and we’re trained to prepare for all eventualities. As early as now the Palit Bise team should organize a transition committee in case an actual revolution becomes necessary. Talk to the Duterte children. People will follow their lead if something happens to the President.

    I hope it never comes to that. Rodrigo Duterte, for all his faults, is the best hope we have for real change in the motherland. I want to see him live to at least 100 years old. My gut says he will.

  6. GRP, I don’t know if you have a fast way of reaching Jimmy Bondoc privately, but please warn him to think carefully before releasing the receipts of the Palit Bise event. His suppliers might get harassed by “investigative journalists” like Raissa Robles with demolition-job exposes, or cyberbullied by the yellow trolls, which can make them less willing or less able to support future rallies. Bondoc must assess the risks involved. I think people will be satisfied with a detailed cost breakdown on an excel sheet, with no supplier names. Thanks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.