Exploiting the 3 China executions
AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR By William M. Esposo
The Philippine Star 2011-04-03
The feeding frenzy was one of the lowest points of Philippine broadcast journalism. It overstepped the boundaries for news reporting and went into the dishing of melodrama which bordered on voyeurism.

Forget about editorial judgment and good taste as these were totally discarded by many of the television and radio networks that covered the impact of the March 30 executions in China of convicted Filipino drug mules Sally Ordinario-Villanueva, Ramon Credo and Elizabeth Batain on their loved ones. The most inconsiderate network of the lot postures as “God’s gift to the oppressed”, but they failed to realize that their intrusions into the grief of the relatives of Sally Ordinario-Villanueva, Ramon Credo and Elizabeth Batain were outright insensitive, mean and exploitative.

While covering Sally Ordinario’s sister in law in Isabela, at the moment when media had confirmed that the execution had been carried out already, the network cameraman had to tail her when she rushed to a neighbor’s house and there to unleash her grief. Why should that need media coverage at all? That cannot be classified and justified as the public’s right to know.

This inconsiderate network had no concern whatsoever for the needs of the grieving relatives of Sally Ordinario-Villanueva both those relatives in China and here in the Philippines . The Ordinario family members in China a sister, brother and the parents of Sally were just separated from their doomed kin and this inconsiderate network lost no time engaging Jason Ordinario, Sally’s brother, on a live phone patch interview for their television and radio coverage.

It was a moment of extreme grief for the Ordinario family in China, a moment which demanded privacy, and the inconsiderate network just had to scoop the competition and get their melodrama on the air. News was simply a poor excuse for that kind of voyeurism. You could feel the anguish of Jason Ordinario as he tearfully tried to answer the questions of the TV anchor of the inconsiderate network. It was not information that the network was trying to extract but a tear jerker moment that deserved to be in the entertainment programs, not the news.

Right after Jason Ordinario accommodated the television anchor of the inconsiderate network, he was immediately put on the air in their radio station. He had to relate all over again his family’s tearful reunion with Sally in China at that very moment when the Ordinario family knew that Sally was about to be executed already.

The inconsiderate network’s TV and radio anchors pressed Jason Ordinario to reveal if their family felt that the government had sufficiently supported their sister Sally. It must have surprised them when Jason Ordinario narrated that Sally expressed full appreciation and was grateful for the efforts that the government had extended to her. This was later confirmed by Sally’s father, Peter Ordinario, who was also interviewed while in China.

In the GMA News TV live coverage of the relatives of Ramon Credo, his mother in law also expressed appreciation for all the efforts that the government had extended to them. Even comments in the social networks were generally appreciative of government efforts to save the three executed drug mules. What do you think boosted the ratings of Vice President Jojo Binay in the latest Pulse Asia and SWS surveys?

Despite what Jason and Peter Ordinario had said about Sally’s appreciation for the government’s efforts, the inconsiderate network opted to allot a more prominent play on the sister of Sally Ordinario Mirasol who went on a rant after hearing that Sally was already dead. Mirasol Ordinario faulted the government for the fate that befell Sally. It was as if the government sent her sister to China with the drugs. It was as if the government did nothing to try to save Sally. It was as if they, as the closest kin and support group of Sally, did not share in the responsibility for the fate that befell her.

Perhaps, it was no coincidence that positioned beside Mirasol Ordinario while she was blaming the government was Migrante International Chairman Garry Martinez. In an earlier TV coverage of a Migrante organized prayer vigil for the three drug mules, Martinez was openly displaying his raised clenched left fist which only the world’s few remaining Reds still demonstrate these days. During this China crisis, Martinez was consistently condemning the government despite its best efforts.

Migrante is to OFWs (overseas Filipino workers) as Piston is to jeepney drivers and the KMU (Kilusang Mayo Uno) is to laborers. In 1987, a big multinational food distributor could not understand why the KMU was creating labor problems for them when their lowest paid employees the janitors were receiving double the minimum wage. On the other hand, Piston belittled the P500 million fuel assistance that the government had extended to jeepney and tricycle drivers last Thursday.

Are these groups really serving the marginalized Filipinos or creating conditions that will promote an ideology that has been consistently rejected by this country for decades? They all fit to a tee what then Defense Minister and now Senate President Juan Ponce-Enrile had said that if it walks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck then it must be a duck.

What should surprise us is why our media do not seem to know or care what these dubious groups are really out to promote. How come these groups are not even challenged the same way that the media would challenge every government action and decision? These dubious groups are allowed to ventilate their clearly prejudiced positions against whichever administration is in power, whether a good or a bad administration. Why give them any airtime or space at all?

The inconsiderate network knew that Sally Ordinario was appreciative and grateful for the government’s efforts that were undertaken to save her. How come they opted to emphasize instead the rant of the sister who was not even there in China? How come that when their primetime newscasts were aired, they only played the sister’s anti government rant?

Why were Sally Ordinario’s favorable comments about government assistance, as narrated by her brother and father, not even mentioned at all?

What happened to balanced reporting? Is there a hidden agenda at play here?

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A great disservice to P-Noy

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