ABS-CBN, the Lopezes, and the 2010 election

ABS-CBN’s Boto Mo, I-Patrol Mo: Ako ang Simula is a good example of how mass media take part in the transformation of our society. While it’s too early to talk on the impact of  Boto Mo, I-Patrol Mo: Ako ang Simula, it’s launching in May 11, 2009 proved on how citizens get excited on being involved in getting and sharing information.

Which way ABS-CBN will take in 2010? As TV giant and with its nationwide reach, it surely gets high impact among voters. While ABS-CBN project itself as an independent media, we cannot forget the fact that media companies cannot always distance itself from its owners. Will ABS-CBN’s coverage in 2010 elections cannot be tinted with bias to politicians the Lopezes are siding with?

The Lopez family has businesses to protect so it is difficult to believe that the family remains neutral in 2010.

To whom will Lopez family side with in 2010? Most likely, ABS-CBN supports to candidates who also sided with its owners. Of course, the biases of ABS-CBN, whatever they are, are highly unnoticeable.

Recently, ABS-CBN news anchor Korina Sanchez her love affairs to Mar Roxas gets heavy airtime in various program in ABS-CBN. We all know that Mar Roxas is aggressively positioning himself to win in 2010 and ABS-CBN’s exposure to her relationship with Korina will surely gets impact.

Here’s the question: Are the Lopezes favor Mar?

Blog authored by batang buotan: (Link opens in new window)

Broadcaster’s Judgment Call

Energy FM and the “Hi Pangga” dating program hosted Ramil “Inday Misyel” Albaño cannot be directly blamed with th gruesome death of Emily Nuñeza. Emily was  allegedly raped and killed by a man called as Michael whom she met through “Hi Pangga”.

But “Hi Pangga” program get a share of finger-pointing habit. After all, the program encouraged the meet-up of the helpless victim and Michael. Accordingly, “Hi Pangga” has its disclaimer – saying something like, ‘date at your own risk’. But disclaimer, warnings are not being listened to.

I will not join the Catholic Church’s response that radio dating program is immoral. I will lean more on responsibility.

I think this kind of program really started in DyLS, an ABS-CBN run FM station. Yes, it was “Wanted Pangga” there. The format is the same. The program host match the callers for a date.

I had a chance to listen to “Wanted Pangga” and to tell you, the program is too boring. It doesn’t make sense to and I even wonder why it is being allowed by the giant network, ABS-CBN. I later realized something when I knew about another program in DyAB, ABS-CBN’s Cebu AM station, called Sixth Sense. The program is no longer aired because of listener’s complaints.

There was a time when Jai-Alai was still played and illegal betting of Jai-Alai game results was still very rampant. Many radio stations – broadcast the results. And the worse station’s management’s consent to broadcasters giving number tips to listener.

A friend told me that KBP should act on things like these through its Standards Authority (SA). I disagree. Do broadcasters really need that? Even non-KBP member stations and non-KBP accredited broadcaster should know what is the ‘standards’  – what are the right stuff to do on-air.

Station managers must be responsible in hiring broadcasters and should always encourage responsible broadcasting.

To this date, radio  stations in Cebu are more than concern of ratings than valuing listeners. With due respect to few responsible broadcasters I know.

Press Freedom and Commander Bravo

When ABS-CBN aired the exclusive interview of ABS-CBN reporter, George Carino to MILF Commander Bravo, I felt so sorry and dismayed.

On the light side, I don’t wonder why ABS-CBN reporters are prone to kidnapping by rebels. What if the Bravo group changed their mind and never allowed the reporter to go back? Will ABS-CBN seek help from the government? Will ABS-CBN blame the reporter for violating its security protocol? That will be another story.

I am a staunch advocate of press freedom but this time I say that limitations of such freedom must be intelligently discerned by journalist as to not put the nation and democracy at risk.

In the exclusive interview, renegade MILF Commander Bravo appeared so arrogant. He felt so powerful.

And why not? He was given the privilege by ABS-CBN.

Commander Bravo has a P20-million bounty on his head for going on a rampage and killing and burning houses in several communities in Mindanao following the order of the Supreme Court (SC) to stop the August 5 signing of the memorandum of agreement on ancestral domain (MOA-AD) with the MILF for the creation of the Bangsamoro Juridical Entity (BJE).

I hope we have not forgotten that. But in the exclusive interview, Commander Bravo twisted everything as if it was the fault of the government that’s why they terrorized the poor civilians.

Maria Ressa, head of ABS-CBN news and public affairs keeps on justifying that the exclusive interview was within the realms of press freedom and the right of the people to know.

Of course she needs to be re-oriented that there are certain limitations (that’s why the Congress is granting franchise to broadcast entity), such as airing subversive and rebellious statements that can incite people to rebel, and giving aid and comfort to enemies of state.

MILF Commander Bravo is obviously an enemy of state and ABS-CBN aired his subversive and rebellious statements!

That was indeed a violation of ABS-CBN’s franchise agreement with National Telecommunications Commission (NTC).

Jun Nicdao of the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) found nothing wrong with the interview. While Nonoy Espina, National Union of Journalists in the Philippines (NUJP) deputy secretary-general insist that ABS-CBN did not violate its franchise agreement with the NTC by airing an exclusive interview with a wanted separatist leader in Mindanao.

For Representative Abdullah “Bobby” Dimaporo, ABC-CBN betrayed its pursuit of money by sensationalizing the news, in place of the search for truth.

For me, Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez is doing right to ask for an investigation for ABS-CBN’s possible violation of its franchise.

I am reminded with the famous line of Salvador P. Lopez: Freedom without responsibility will lead to anarchy but responsibility without freedom will lead tyranny.


The whole nation has been relieved upon hearing that the abductors finally released ABS-CBN reporter Ces Drilon and her companions in exchange of “livelihood package”.

With deep humility, Ces Drilon apologized for causing ‘headache’ to ABS-CBN. Media reports said that Drilon also apologized to her children, mother, brother, sister, and to Encarnacion’s children, saying she felt “so irresponsible”.

Indeed her abduction by few men identified themselves as Abu Sayyaf was an extra-painful not only to ABS-CBN, family, and friends but also to the good people in Sulu, the goverment authorities, and the nation as a whole.

I agree with Drilon’s word that she had been so ‘irresponsible’ for putting her life and the life of her companion at risk. More than what she thought, she also endangered the life of the negotiators and the lives of the people of Sulu.

However, I do not blame Ces Drilon for going to Sulu for a journalistic assignment which instead of resulting to common good, became a national disaster. I am certain if I shoot my stern look to the Military for failing to secure the “special coverage” of Drilon and her team. Should I curse the government for its repeated commitment to crush the Abu bandits yet repeatedly failed to do so? I could not. Doing such will make me insane.

I point my finger to her abductor. Wherever they come from, those bandits always pose as threat. They are like frustrated actors waiting for a cue to upstage the ‘famous’ and take the lead role mainly to get their dubious desire. And there we are, negotiating, pleading, compromising, appealing so that no life will be lost.

We are trapped into this vicious cycle. This already happened many times – bandits abduct, set deadline, terrorize the nation with their threat to behead their captives. During these times, we bargain, we compromise, we give in. Life is more important than the rule of law, after all.

Have we forgotten the Burnham and the other innocent victims of Abu bandits? How much have we wasted in an effort to crush them? How many opportunities have we lost?

Albert Einstein has reminded us that ‘the world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.’

And he added that ‘doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results’ is called insanity.

Blog I author (Bisaya): Ambot Lang!

Special Events

Free Ces Drilon and I will prove you false!

Bandits strike again! Reports say that “Abu Sayyaf bandits have kidnapped ABS-CBN reporter Ces Drilon and her two assistants in Sulu, demanding P20 million for their freedom”. Drilon reported went to Sulu “to cover a special event”. Huh? I wonder how special would that be.

First time lasts longer than last time

At last! Senator Lito Lapid finally got his first bill passed. The bill will be known as the Legal Assistance Act of 2008. Who said that Lapid mysteriously disappear from the Senate floor after the singing of the national anthem? Who has heard him during debates? To the good Senator: may the first time never be the last.

Special and unleaded

Gasoline to rise by P7.50 more per liter this month. Not surprising.

Specially weak

Philippine Peso to fall further and cross the 47 level this year due to a weak economic growth and rising inflation, DBS Bank of Singapore foresee.

Have a special week!

Blog I author (Bisaya): Ambot Lang!