The world will never run out of scammers but the big problem, specially in the Philippines, is that mainstream media keep giving air time to them. Recent events in light of the “sudden” emergence of the supposed man behind “Bikoy”, Peter Joemel Advincula prove this.
In our more than a decade of blogging we’ve seen it all. The same modus operandi, specially in desperate times for candidates losing a campaign, still manages to fool people — and conscript the Philippines’ crooked media into the racket. One would at least expect that a bit of originality and innovation would be engineered into these circuses.
But no. News of “Bikoy” escorted by nuns into the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) to “tell all” before waiting media personnel follows a template going back to the mid-2000s when “whistleblower” Jun Lozada was the poster boy of a media hungry for then President Gloria Arroyo’s head.
It is interesting that media “thought leaders” like Rappler CEO Maria Ressa keep crying bloody “assault on press freedom” when, in fact, the press has long been left free to its crooked devices delivering dishonest “journalism” to their gullible audience. In this instance, the media have simply taken the statements of Advincula, an alleged petty scammer and estafador, and delivered his message straight into the screens of their mass audience without a hint of challenge.
The important detail conveniently left out as reporters scrambled for the scoop yesterday is the fact that Advincula was reportedly Naga City’s most wanted back in 2012.
Advincula admitted that aside from his theft case in Sorsogon, he is also facing charges of illegal recruitment and large scale estafa in Naga City and Albay.
Indeed, very brave. The media are long overdue for a robust critical evaluation. Or perhaps not, seeing that there is, in fact a real media crisis unfolding in these times. But it is not a crisis of “press freedom” as bozos like Ressa are screeching about. It is more a crisis of credibility which, in turn, feeds that other crisis creeping up on the industry and profession — one of relevance.
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