The Inquirer bottom fishes for circulation

inq-09-15Bottom fishing is when you drag the net across the seabed to scrape up any living creature unfortunate enough to be there. It scrapes up sea snakes, squid, crabs, blowfish, baby fish that will never become meat, and used condoms. It is banned in most locations, but that never stopped the scurrilous from using the method.

That’s the way The Philippine Daily Inquirer too often does its journalism.

It is cheap. It ramps up circulation.

Who cares if it is accurate?

Accuracy . . . being factual . . . is not the point in Philippine tabloid journalism ethics. Ramping up circulation to enrich the fat cats who own the rag is the point.

I was reminded of this the other day when Department of Justice Secretary De Lima confirmed that no Americans were with the Mamasapano police troops that conducted the raid to get terrorist bomber Marwan [“No Americans or Caucasians killed in Mamasapano clash–De Lima”]. The report gave the lie to the Inquirer’s front page headline of three weeks earlier, blaring “Unidentified Caucasian killed in Mamasapano“.

I’m sure it was a conscious editorial decision to leave off the question mark for that headline. There is for sure enough space for it there in that second line. Almost as if the question mark had been consciously REMOVED.

What good is a wishy washy headline, anyway, one that truthfully conveys the gist of the article itself that no one was really sure, that authorities said no Americans were with the raiding party, and all that was available was a gruesome video with a dead face in it that some editor decided looked white enough to him. He’d run with the story. That was enough for the Inquirer, to tease and titillate their great emotional, suspicious, superstitious tabloidian readership base [“Unidentified Caucasian killed in Mamasapano”].

Angst with America sells papers . . . no need to worry about the troubles the erroneous headline will cause. What do the Inquirer’s fat cat owners care about relations with America, after all? What do they care if DOJ will get yanked around to disprove an editor’s wild guess? Sell some papers!

Put it on the front page.

Main headline of course.

A triped up, trumped up piece of trash. Scraped from the bottom. Leaving the stench of American meddling and the taint of suspicions among the untrusting and superstitious for years to come.

Journalism at its worst.

How is the Philippines ever going to rise when this is the caliber of its journalism? It undermines intelligence in favor of emotion. It undermines honesty in favor of tricks. It undermines the fabric of public dialogue in the Philippines.

“It’s the way we do it here, Joe.”


52 Responses to “The Inquirer bottom fishes for circulation”
  1. andrewlim8 says:

    The quality of Philippine broadsheet journalism is a very unstable one; sometimes it soars, but many times it just gets by and a few times it really is sub-par.

    When I was working in the Senate and got to meet several journalists, sometimes you wanted to cry at their unpreparedness and lack of depth. Recently, one Inquirer reporter turned a very meaningful statement of Chief Justice Sereno into a meaningless one. Sereno was asked to comment on the SC decision to grant Enrile bail. Her reply was “unqualified concurrence” with the minority report. The reporter, however turned it into “unqualified occurrence”.

    Of course, some go on to become a Raissa Robles, or a Marites Vitug or an Aries Rufo but sadly so many stay mediocre and a few really scrape the bottom of the barrel.

    • Joe America says:

      I think there are tremendous pressures on publishers to fill the paper with news on days when there is not much to use that is truly newsworthy. They don’t really do investigative works or narratives (ala Wall Street Journal in-depth reports) because that style costs money and the return just isn’t there. So it is of the style we used to call “rip and read”, as we ripped Associated Press stories out of the teletype and read them on the air . . . news on the cheap. So the reporters are often young or under-skilled and rushed. The headline writers do their thing, to make an ordinary or nonsense story (as the dead Caucasian story was) into a circulation builder.

      To be fair, if I am going to be critical, I should offer a solution . . . and I’m not sure I have one. Newsprint is a dying industry.

    • @andrewlim8, wasn’t that her reply about Justice Leonen’s dissenting opinion?

  2. Felix Zamar says:

    I hate a foreigner when he tells a blatant truth about my country. and i hate myself and my country for not articulating that truth as well as that foreigner

  3. cic_x says:

    Yes, sadly, print media is dying a slow death even in countries where it enjoys a critical and discerning readership. UPD Chancellor Michael Tan, who incidentally writes a regular opinion column called ‘Pinoy Kasi’, once delivered a speech about public intellectualism. He said that the fruit vendor he normally visits in the market only knew about his column because she used it to wrap her mangos. Upon trying to read it, she gave up because she didn’t understand what he was going on about, and I consider Tan as someone who attempts to write in a conversational, easy-reading style. At this point I don’t even think it’s a language barrier problem. Even if a well-reasoned and investigative article came out in Filipino or a regional language, it wouldn’t have an impact if mainstream readers simply have no interest. The inquirer doesn’t even include in-depth reviews of films and plays that match the length and quality of features in broadsheets such as Die Zeit. I acknowledge that I read the Inquirer just twice a week, but even on the odd day that I do happen to pick it up, I have not read a single film review that goes beyond what a lengthy comment on IMDB does.

    If we consider that there are many people who are possibly just like that fruit vendor, it begs the question if this is not a chicken and egg problem. Should more intellectual or well-written journalistic texts be promoted and made available to a mass audience who may or may not want it, or should more critical and quality education be established first before we can even think about such a thing? Or is it, as many people would claim, an economic issue?

    • Joe America says:

      That is an excellent point, cic_x, that the readership just isn’t there for “real” journalism. The headlines are as far as many ever go, and that is supplemented by what friends say, some of whom may have read more, most of whom have not. This trend toward the sensational exists on this blog, as well. Readers – who are mostly college educated and well read – go for the political hot stories, but not the studies of infrastructure investments or conventional issues.

      Perhaps those of us in the output side have to consider how to do more. In the Inquirer’s case, to step into articles with a series of headlines, and simple, but honest reporting. For sure, I craft my headlines to try to get a hot button feel to them . . . because that is what works.

      It is not totally an economics issue, but a cultural issue that affects economics.

      Excellent points . . .

    • Annalissa M. valdez says:

      My take on this is on the side of education. Kailangan magkaroon tayo ng matibay na pundasyon ng edukasyon, as you said, one that harness a critical mind. Sa tagal ko ng teacher, nakaka frustrate dahil sanay na sanay ang mga students sa rote me ory learning – science man (I teach nursing) or arts (I teach culinary). Napakababaw ng take sa mga issues, walang sense of national pride, walang malalim na pagkaintindi sa issues like economy, corruption, statemanship, foreign relation. Nakakaiyak minsan. Nung kasagsagan ng issues kay Binay, I engage the class to a ‘healthy discussion’ of issues. Marami ang nagsabi na hindi sila makakapag-aral kung hindi dahil kay Binay kaya iboboto nila. I said, “anak, why don’t you write him a thank you note instead. Then go back to the issues at hand and rethink your position on voting.”. Meron naman na walang alam (literally walang alam sa current events. Then I talked about Maja-Gerald, 50 Shades of Grey – and the there was amd ruckus! Everyone got animated. I went on a break now on teaching, pursuing my culinary arts in Europe. But it is also a time to contemplate. I still join healthy discussions (hopefully though it can be frustrating) with my students – always sharing Joeam’s article, Raissa’s, hoping to spark conversation. Some days, I see sparks of hope, some days abyss of nothingness. But what can I do? I have to love this country – I am proud to be Filipino, I do not renounce my citizenship. I want to see it in its glory. I want it to blessed….

    • -“broadsheets such as Die Zeit”

      Die Zeit is one of the children of the American occupation where licenses to publish newspapers were given to selected people, and together with Der Spiegel and Süddeutsche Zeitung one of the foundations of West German free press and postwar democracy. The Weimar Republic after WW1 was destroyed by tabloid reporting, among other things. The first issue of Süddeutsche Zeitung was printed on the melted down plates of Mein Kampf – Hitler’s book which BTW was a confused, MRP-like mixture of truths and urban legends people bought into. Adolf’s mantras were the poor German people and rich Jews exploiting them, and evil American capitalists and Russian communists helping them…

      Now even over here in Germany where there are excellent public libraries, the new times have made people’s attention spans shorter. What Neil Postman wrote that we are “amusing ourselves to death” is also happening here, especially with younger people.

      A problem I see with many Filipino newspapers is that they assume people already have a background on the topics being discussed. There are not enough background articles to explain things to outsiders – similar to Filipino in-groups where you are either in the know or “huli ka na sa balita” where no one cares to explain what is happening. It takes enormous research to understand the topics. It took me a long time to understand what people in Raissa’s blog were talking about. Joe is clearer and helped me get a hold on what was happening in the Philippines, a basis from which to branch out an understand more. What is also lacking is sources for contextual knowledge, which is my own blog project. I was dismayed that commenters in so many places – even here – lacked sufficient foundations. Now if you open a typical American or European feature article about a current issue, you will have well-written backgrounders explaining the context, what happened before etc.

      Quality of education, but also promoting a culture of sharing information and knowledge which I think does not yet fully exist in the Philippines. Those that are in the know are like those with money, they do not really want others to have opportunities because they are afraid of competition. Exceptions here prove the rule. Things can be explained but most Filipino intellectuals do not care. Did UPD Chancellor Tan ask the fruit vendor what she did not understand? Did he try to talk and explain to her? Try to find out what was missing? Elitism in the Philippines is present even among the well-meaning. Those who have been outside the country and have lived without maids, or even among the common people in developed countries will know what I am talking about. Those who stayed at home not.

      Of course there is such a thing as intellectual muscle, and not using it is bad for the mind just like not exercising is bad for the body. With people who have not been able to use certain intellectual muscle groups for a while, you have to start with simpler work-outs. In fact something like German “Volkshochschule” – people’s universities – might be helpful in the Philippines. State-subsidized especially for the interested lower-income people. But also a change in attitudes. My former yaya was sent to evening school by my mother, got a business management bachelor. Didn’t help her in the Philippines because of the perception that she was just a maid by many potential employers. Got by working in UP dormitories and then finally migrated. So if I was poor and heard stories like that, I would also start thinking – why the effort, if it is not worth it? I remember also some UST grads who were abroad for a Filipino firm I worked with for a while. The UP and Atenean folks looked down upon them. I put them into my project because they were hardworking and did not have their nose up as high in the air as their pasosyal colleagues. They made it good. And protected me against intrigues that eventually made me stop working with that firm. Philippines has a lot of brainpower it is not using, because the entitled prevent competition.

      • This is why I defend MRP over here, even if some his stuff is confused and autodidactic, mixture of truths he read and urban legends. I think he is an example of brainpower in the Philippines that went to waste there and was developed haphazardly while being abroad.

        Like people who try to build physical fitness on their own without knowing how to use the gym properly – they partly build up, partly damage their muscles. Same with the brain.

        There was a similar elitism in pre-WW2 Germany. Post WW2 was an equalizer because everybody had to start from scratch, especially when the Allies reformed the money and gave everybody an equal starting amount. Ok those with property still had an advantage, that was not touched then. The country (West) developed an enormous economic power. There also seems to be a constant in history: revolutions and discontent always develop when a substantial mass of people who are capable lack opportunities. Giving capable people from below a chance to move up and less capable people from above to move down stabilizes society. Because smart but badly developed brains are dangerous. People who know they could do more and see entitled but stupid people running the place will think of ways to either subvert or circumvent the system. Many Nazi followers belonged to this category, going against the aristocracy. Many Marcos followers – against the burgis. Many Duterte followers are capable probinsyanos marginalized by Manila-based elitism.

      • cic_x says:

        I agree with you about information-sharing and intellectual elitism. Regarding the UPD Chancellor, if I remember correctly he identified that both language and interest were lacking, but that’s as far as his story went.

        While I don’t suppose the Volkshochschulen have a counterpart in the Philippines, I suppose some of its functions are fulfilled by TESDA and their affiliated schools. I do in fact appreciate what TESDA is doing, particularly in cities such as Marikina, where they work together with the LGU to provide education with only miscellaneous fees (ingredients for baking, for instance). The programs were originally free, but after numerous thefts from the pantry and the degradation of equipment, fees were charged. Now the unfortunate result is that classes are often attended by middle-class housewives or retirees, and not the target groups they aimed to reach in the first place.

        What surprises me the most about Filipino intellectual elites is that certain groups in the radical left are actually against what TESDA is doing, as they claim that TESDA graduates will only go abroad after their technical training, to work as mechanics, welders, caregivers etc., without carefully examining local hiring practices and attitudes for workers with such skills. In Germany, skilled workers such as plumbers and bricklayers get a wage enough to support their families and are not frowned upon in society, whereas in the Philippines, there appears not only to be a societal taboo against forms of technical and manual labor (ay karpintero lang yan, titser lang siya, waitress lang yan), but all these jobs are also compensated poorly.

        There has also been anger about suggesting internships at universities, the arguments primarily being that a university should be divorced from the market. I find the situation frustrating. Parents send their children to universities with high rankings (often due to criteria that have little to do with careers) in order to ‘get better jobs’, ignore universities that have good hands-on training like TIP and TESDA institutes because ‘pang-xxxx lang yan’, and then expect these research-based high ranking universities to get their children better jobs. Intelligence and inexperience a good worker do not necessarily make – and this fresh-graduate incompetence has not only raised costs for businesses but has also penetrated key areas of government – just look at DOTC’s roster, and you’ll see quite a few of them. Quite a dangerous situation, and I think some values ought to be revised about work, careers, compensation and the meaning of universities. If only the Philippines had Fachhochschulen, but since when has Germany been a model of education? In fact, even Germany has jumped on to the strange Bachelor-Master’s/12 years of schooling bandwagon, even though their system didn’t need that type of fix.

  4. Vikky says:

    Good point Joe. Yet PDI, nor the tabloids, do not have exclusivity with this profit-making strategy. We are served this trash everyday, every minute, by the TV networks too, all in the name of entertainment. News is entertainment, and entertainment is news. Legitimate news is delivered with the extra lilt in the broadcaster-pretending-to-be-a-commentator’s voice to insinuate doubt and double talk. Lives of broadcasters are shoved at us as if we couldn’t do without such trash. Much like the huge malls, where every single square meter of space has to convert to PESOS, so is every single second of air time. Kaching, kaching. Even auditions for upcoming artistas and the network’s CSR projects for communities are drummed up for hundreds of millions of peso returns and value. Unfortunately, very very few Filipinos can see through the disguise.

    • Joe America says:

      The television networks indeed run flash and trash journalism, too. I’ve been dismayed with CNN’s local reporting. I thought CNN would bring a journalistic style to the Philippines to provide a “real” news outlet, but they are just the same, and recently fired about 70 people, which means we are unlikely to get BETTER reporting. And the abusive over-populating of shows with advertising keeps me away from television altogether.

  5. karl garcia says:

    Dog eat dog among Inquirerpublishers,Belmontes,Pagilinans and the others just do their thing.
    I just returned to social media ,i I post several year old articles asking what hapened to this and that,why is this so,etc.Sometimes to drive a point, I even post GRPesque articles.

    Repeat a lie,until everyone is fooled.
    Good thing we are not fishermen who takes everything hook,line and sinker.
    Reading MRP is a good practice to not believe everything,look for meaning,dig deeper,figure out why he keeps on repeating stuff.

    As to the print industry as long as its better to advertise o print,because of long term effects and you can keep clippings,where on online adds it disappears if don’t print them because it costs too much. I daresay that Print is here to stay!

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Dr. Esperanza Cabral, a cardiologist and advocate of cardiovascular health, said that doctors should have a sideline or another source of income so that diagnoses will be of good quality, not done for pecuniary interest. This can also be applied for occupations which involve opinion or professional evaluation, journalism being one of them. How can we trust peddlers of news, editorials and columns if the industry requires advertising to survive? In the real world, however, people learn that traditional media is not the only source of truth and analytical study. It’s a good thing we have social media and the blogosphere. Btw, I noticed that The Society of Honor is a nominee in Bloggys 2015. Just for being nominated, congratulations, JoeAm! A shoo-in, hands down winner, open-and-shut.

  6. bauwow says:

    What the Inquirer needs is a weekly babe with a skimpy barely there swimsuit. She would stimulate intellectual debates on topics such as whether Junjun Binay deserves to be dismissed and perpetually disqualified. This would raise the bar and affirm that the PDI is a respected newspaper, that only thinks of the growth of the Philippines.

    • Joe America says:

      Superb thinking, a little titillation, rope ’em, reel ’em in, and then talk platform . . . there you go. Have you considered a career in marketing?

      • andrewlim8 says:

        aha ha ha that could actually work. Marketing geniuses are very good at rewording things like this one I bookmarked for its chutzpah:

        Last year Ginebra San Miguel chose Ellen Adarna as its calendar girl:

        “Ellen Adarna is arguably the hottest and sexiest young actress in the industry today. She has a very strong and loyal fan base and we are very proud and ganadong-ganado to welcome her on board as our 2015 calendar girl.”

        In line with the brand’s 180th anniversary, the theme of its 2015 calendar is “Ganado Sa Buhay” as it aims to pay tribute and give homage to hard working Filipino men who are the main consumers of the range of drinks. “They work hard so they could provide a good future for their family and to keep them ready to face the challenges of tomorrow—and they drink GSM,” said Elises (Marketing VP).

        Ha ha ha that’s another way of saying “our customer base are horny males who love drooling at sexy endorsers… by the way they work hard, too for their families… ha ha ha 🙂

        • Joe America says:

          🙂 My Masters thesis was done with and for the censorship office of CBS in LA. They didn’t know what to do about all the audience complaints about singer Cher’s skimpy dresses at the opening of the show. I did a survey, confirmed the complaints were mostly from older women, and advised CBS to ignore them and undress Cher some more.

          Well, perhaps I exaggerate a point or two, but not by much.

  7. caliphman says:

    Joe, the news print industry is almost beyond saving. The Inquirer with the largest readership or regular subscription is a living obituary and epitaph of Philippine journalism’s descent into hell. Were it not for some of the remaining brilliant opinion writers in its editorial stable, namely Monsod, Ocampo, sometimes David, Panganiban, Bernas, much missed Cruz, the rest of the papers should be on a financial DNR status or Do Not Resuscitate. Only in Philippine journalism does one see an OpEd byline run among the day’s top headlines! The real sad thing about a news source with discriminating news readers is its a sexy seductress, after the passionate foreplay and afterplay are but delicious memories, once credibility is lost the source is literally yesterdays news.

    There is a glimmer of hope by a couple of blogsite, Rappler being one of them, run and quality maintained by Vitug and her merry band frpm back in her days of the print industry. The standards are there most of the time but alas its news content is not very broad and more often than not, hardly very deep but then if its no more than a news wrap, whaddaya expect? But the think pieces are like it is this blogsite, thats where the main entrees are and the desserts and the luquored coffee that make for a stimulating and thought provoking journalistic feast.

    I used to frequent another blogsite, where the posters comments were like the broad illuminating beams of those Hollywood searchlights unveiling the truth in broad swathes lighting up the utter darkNess of the night sky. And the blog articles were like penetrating pencil streams of laser light,
    shining the deep light of truth into whatever issues clouded society’s face with fear, uncertainty, and doubt. That was yesteryear and that blogsite to me is but a dim shadow of itself, its collective thoughts seeming to emanate from an unholy alliance of a brainless and milling crowd of undead zombies and an army of lemmings marching mindlessly in lockstep to the anti-Poe chants of its pokitical commissars.

    Such a shame and yet there us hope.

    • Joe America says:

      Yes, I think blogging is rolling in the right direction, though, and will go through its ebbs and flows because each producer is an individual. When the individual finds other priorities, the blog suffers. That is what happened to Filipino Voices, J’s The Nutbox, and Cocoy’s Pro-Pinoy site. I agree that Riassa’s site has languished, with infrequent articles to get the focus off of Poe. But we have this blog coming on strong, and I think Irineo’s could take off, and there are some newbies at the Blog Center. If we see blogging as an alternative source of insight and information, we should support those who are bringing in the material. I have enjoyed recent articles from “The Layman Pinoy”

      I wish Rappler would change their layout, frankly. I can’t focus. I only read when someone brings a good article to my attention. And they do a lot of them, generally of the columnist/opinion variety.

      • I subscribe to their “Daily WRap” to get a quick idea of what is going on in the Philippines.

        Interaksyon is good, and Mindanews is downright brilliant, putting all of them to shame.

        Well Mindanews is basically a cooperative of independent, highly professional journalists.

      • I do not mind the concentration on Poe, for me it is a journey in search of the truth, and I’m learning in the process. This is the campaign season afterall, other candidates are being scrutinized as well, we have to continue to strive for an enlightened electorate.

        • edgar lores says:

          I find their detailed scrutiny laudable. If the same scrutiny could be applied to seated officials and judges and the various branches and departments of government (as JoeAm does intermittently) then social media might just replace the broadsheets in this regard. PCIJ, with deeper pockets, is performing the same function at a more professional level.

          • PCIJ, the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism…I admire their effort and wish them more support and well being. I wish also that what they have unearthed be translated in various languages that the ordinary masa could understand. I know they have a lot of researches made on Estrada, GMA, PDAF anomalies, not to mention the Marcos atrocities and plunder. That would help a lot in voter education, it feels that we are preaching to the choir here as most of us share the same info as well as hopes and dreams. We comprise a small percentage of the voting population, the TV programs that air this are mostly in English and aired late at night, I myself sleep at 9:00 pm sharp, have to be up at dawn so I can avoid the early morning rush hour and traffic going to the office, so I seldom watch any.

          • caliphman says:

            Precisely edgar. Had this scrutiny been directed towards finding where Binay’s illegal wealth or much sought henchmen were hiding or used in scrutinizing and comparing what types of policies and programs the candidates are likely to embark on….now that would have been truly laudable. But this CPM campaign is nothing else but a witchhunt, the primary motivation of which is to furtively promote their own chosen candidate. I would expect something like this from the Binay camp or from the Get Real Philippines blogsite, but from what I used to consider a generally fair, unbiased and intelligent group of bloggers?? Hardly.

            The level of effort they expend on finding the most minute item online in their campaign to smear poe is absolutely mindboggling! And of all things, the cpmer’s engaged in this campaign of accusations and insinuations are still focusing on legal issues which the best judicial minds have already examined and opined on but still have thought it best for the Supreme Court to make the final rulings on. Right now, it seems they are focusing enormous effort in showing Poe was insincere in renouncing her US citizenship because it was only in 2012 that Uncle Sam stripped it from her. But this is just plain hogwash as the established legal opinion is that what is relevant is when GP renounced her US citizenship before a Philippine official and not when and how long US officials took to process her renunciation. This misguided amateur band of wannabe law experts would do well to note that GP’s US renunciation papers which are available online clearly state that the acknowledged triggering event leading to GP’s loss of US citizenship was her taking the oath of office as MTRCB in mid2010 and not the 2012 IRS notice CPMers are still crowing about unearthing.

      • caliphman says:

        That too is my main complaint. Rappler’s layout is like the intentional maze one is led through at an Ikea superstore, the unwary meanders through it gets exposed to almost all the offered merchandise when all one wanted was a pair of hand towels. The journalistic gems are there but what good is if one can’t find it??

  8. caliphman says:

    Sorry for the typos..wish WordPress was like Disqus with an Edit feature.

    • Sup says:

      A great piece of jazz music will never be played 20x a day on nationwide radio, Ocho ocho does..
      Jazz mucisians die poor, Willie Revillame drives a Ferrari………….

  9. It’s no wonder then that we have citizens who are not that aware of the nuances in our current political and economic issues, with the kind of press, radio and TV we have. I talked to the security guard in our office. I learned that he and his family and friends are for Binay. Upon careful questioning, I have found out that his family are friends of Ebeng Baloloy of the Binay billions of peso fame. I have explained to him in details about all of Binay’s cases, the Comembo land grab, the Alphaland scam in the BSP property, the Rosario Batangas hacienda, he just laughed and remarked that with all these evidences how come they don’t read and watch on TV, that he is about to be arrested, jailed or even charged. It shows that his idol is good at evading the law, he is smart and to be admired. I asked, would you support that kind of person with all the evidences that I have mentioned, knowing our courts are truly slow with their processes, knowing that he is not a good person, that you will be instrumental in keeping bad politicians in office?..He just smiled, shook his head and remarked, it’s a different world out there with the poor people like us. All those good things the president did and is doing, even Mar’s clean record has no effect on them, all they know is that Binay is helping them, and that news headlines are not saying he is proven guilty by the courts, those cases are pure harrassments, in short, he is mouthing what he hears from the TV when Binay is being interviewed, or read in the tabloid media.

    • “He just smiled, shook his head and remarked, it’s a different world out there with the poor people like us.” Very true, unfortunately. I remember my mother telling a story about a colleague at Ateneo – burgis mestiza who went to Mexico and said there are so many slums and poor people over there. My mother told her just like here and she was just surprised. Or the burgis mestiza girlfriend of an Englishman we know who said “there are many poor people here in the Philippines, but here they are HAPPY”. Or me eating goto with some of my Pisay classmates in 1986. One of them nearly ran over a poor man pushing a cariton while parking his Pajero and I having been abroad was the only one who took any notice. Remembering my youth in the Philippines, the poor were also “just there” for me back then.

      “All those good things the president did and is doing, even Mar’s clean record has no effect on them” Economic growth in the Philippines was not inclusive enough. Revolutions, demagoguery and dictatorships all thrive on the resentments of people that feel left out.

  10. Related to this, I sent an e-mail to the Inquirer last month regarding their, for lack of a better term, “unethical” use of an anonymous source. I asked them to not repeat the same mistake as it could damage their reputation/ They never replied.

    PDI is going down lately, but at least it’s not the Star or the Standard, whose standards (no pun intended) have been on a free-fall since 2010. It doesn’t help that both’s readership have a significant number of Marcos loyalists. It’s okay to be critical of the government (personally I was disappointed with Aquino defending Tolentino after all that hoo-huh), but be like Peter Wallace who criticizes for the good of the country and not be like Bobit Avila who criticizes just because his chicken lost.

    • Joe America says:

      Very important distinction.

    • I have come to adopt a more liberal attitude on those earnestly doing their job and then commit mistakes now and then while on it. Someone said, a mistake does not define a person, we are all human beings, and as such, can make them without malice intended.

      MMDA chairman Tolentino did a great job in Leyte and elsewhere after the super typhoon Yolanda destruction. In fairness, he tried to alleviate the traffic mess in MM but he had to work amid such limitations like ongoing road rehab c/o DPWH, the enormous number of vehicles in contrast with the lesser road area they can travel on (DOTC/DPWH) the drainage problems and lack of discipline on the part of the citizen.

      What he did on the birthday celebration of Congressman Agarao was truly objectionable, he recognized that, apologized and asked to be excluded in the LP lineup of senatoriables.

      I think he is the most vilified government official, night after night, Failon and de Castro take turns in ridiculing him. In this playgirls issue, I agree with them, it’s a good thing that he has now resigned from his position.

      Let the others try to do that difficult task, Failon or de Castro, maybe?

      • Leyte? MMDA chairmen are limited to Metro Manila: hence *Metro Manila* Development Authority.

      • A note to LP think tank, why not return to basic, bring back our lost culture, introduce intermission in campaign sorties using rondallas and Filipino native dances in Filipino native custumes, in between modern but not suggestive songs and dances. Let’s do away with these sexy dancers and lewd performances. Whoever thought of these things are not thinking of minors on the audience and in this day of video recordings via handheld cellphones, these lewed performances are being brought to homes where children are also watching. Not being prudish here but we do have to think about our children and young audience who will be easily corrupted by your unthinking actions. Be a good role model for them, please.

        I know it was just a local LP party event, but just the same, the whole pilitical party is now being judged by that single mistake. Other local LGUs of the LP should take note of this and be guided accordingly. TV stations and the press are on the lookout for such scandals and missteps.

  11. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    Tabloid Inquirer that produces Preen a magazine that promotes the Mestizo Class is fishing bottom for bottom readers.

  12. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    Filipinos are happy the publisher of Inquirer became U.N. justice but not happy when UN condemend the Philippines for incancerating Gloria and deprived her of her Human Rights and Fair Trial.

    Look what that Filipino publisher of Inquirer did to UNITED NATIONS. He is giving them a dose of their own viruses.

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