Tuesday, January 24, 2006

NR012406: “Negative news” comes from the Palace, not from the people

From the Office of Anakpawis Representative Crispin B. Beltran ** * **
Reference*: Rep. Crispin Beltran (+63)927.871.1080
Lisa C. Ito, Public Information Officer (+63)927.796.7006
*Tel*. *# (+632) *931-6615 *Email*: crispinbeltran@gmail.com
*URL*: http://www.geocities.com/ap_news

*"Negative news" comes from the Palace, not from the people*

*Bunye practically advocating media censorship – Rep. Beltran*

Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran scored Presidential Spokesperson
Ignacio Bunye for practically nudging media practitioners how to do their
jobs, saying that "this was setting the tone for Martial Law-style
censorship and implicitly, a sycophant press".

In a speech at the 3rd PR Summit in Makati City yesterday, Bunye reportedly
slammed the "bickering, mudslinging and politicking" highlighted in news
reports, saying this hindered economic growth and painted a negative picture
of the country abroad. "Day in and day out, we are bombarded with so much
negative news about our country and fellow Filipinos. It is as if there is a
dearth of good news to share. Serious allegations are leveled even without
basis.Worse, even if these allegations are obviously the concoctions of
persons motivated only by self-interest, our chismis-driven culture
unfortunately laps it up as gospel truth " Bunye said.

Rep. Beltran scored Bunye's statement as a "serious, overgeneralized, and
unfounded jab against Philippine media".

"It is deplorable that Mr. Bunye, as a former media practitioner, would go
to such lengths, to suggest that media practitioners should report more good
news at a time when even more principled Filipino journalists are being
murdered with such impunity," he said.

"It seems that the Press Secretary want media to report only the truth, the
good, and the beautiful, no matter how divorced these may be from the
prevailing realities in Philippine society," Beltran said.

"In effect, Bunye is practically tipping his hat in favor of media
censorship," Beltran said.

"Mr. Press Secretary seems to have forgotten that much of his so-called bad
news actually comes straight from the horse's mouth. Was it not the Palace
and Bunye himself who held the press conference that sparked the entire
'Hello, Garci?' controversy? Was it not Madam Arroyo herself who violated
her now-infamous and much-publicized December 30 promise to not run in the
2004 elections?" he added.

"Mr. Presidential Spokesperson, public relations (PR) and journalism are
vastly different fields. Journalists are there to report and probe issues
affecting the peoples' welfare, not to gloss over them and paint a pretty
picture even if this would equate to lying. It's really impossible to
*not*report about the Subic rape case, about the US-RP war games,
against the
various corruption scams implicating the President, about the political
killings of activists, about the record-breaking hunger rates, because
these are the realities of our times," Beltran said.

"Our journalists are definitely not liars or rumor-mongers, Mr. Palace
Spokesperson. The bombardment of negative news, particularly against the
Arroyo administration, is really not the issue here. The real problem is the
Palace's pathetic inability to resolve the various issues—counts of
corruption, massive electoral fraud, tolerance of human rights violations,
puppetry to the US, backtracking on official statements and promises—that
are of the President's own doing," he said. ###


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