‘For a while, Revillame seemed
agreeable and made obvious statements about a Senate run until it dawned on him that COVID deaths, widespread misery, hunger, and joblessness under this government do not augur well with the generosity, compassion, and abundant hope he has been known for.’
WILLIE Revillame is showing he is a cut above the rest of most TV personalities and celebrities who have gone into politics. Supposedly a shoo-in in the senatorial race, he is no longer interested to run and end up joining ugly political squabbles.
The popular TV game host has turned his back on President Duterte’s offer for him to join the administration’s senatorial slate.
For a while, Revillame seemed agreeable and made obvious statements about a Senate run until it dawned on him that COVID deaths, widespread misery, hunger, and joblessness under this government do not augur well with the generosity, compassion, and abundant hope he has been known for. He is sure he will only be pilloried or “lalaitin” because of his ignorance on law-making, which he has openly admitted.
Revillame says President Duterte and the senators figuring in a political fray distracts from the suffering of the rest of his countrymen in the grip of the pandemic. He would rather not point at the President as the source of the raging hostility with the Senate blue ribbon committee for defending corrupt Pharmally officials. The President has undeniably lost a valuable and big asset in the upcoming political campaign and in the next Senate.
Jason Cabanes, a professor of communications at De La Salle University in Manila, “presented a disturbing view of disinformation as an organized enterprise conducted by creative industry professionals in social media for both profit and politics.” (This was during a recent KBP forum to help members improve their reporting of the 2022 elections.)
Social media has again brought out the best and the worst from its ranks. Panelists Ging Reyes, head of ABS-CBN’s News and Current Affairs, and Luchi Cruz Valdes, head of TV5’s Network News and Information, said: “Journalists should stick to the ethics of their profession amid the widespread disinformation.”
Despite social media becoming a competitor and requiring lots of efforts and resources to verify information coming out of it, Reyes still believes in the importance of maintaining professionalism in the news media.
“We had to innovate, to adjust to the changing times, but the values do not change. We all know at heart that reporting the truth is difficult, you can make a lot of enemies,” Reyes said.
Valdes decried journalists “who have moved from factual reporting to a lot of advocacy and even influence reporting which has found a platform in social media.” Mainstream news media had put ethics and values through a grinder. Former House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte abolished the Congressional Press Corps, which had mostly served as a public relations agency for numerous congressmen. While the press room and its facilities remained at the disposal of reporters and news writers, they no longer functioned as an official media organization.
Personally, I experienced the backlash of restoring ethics and integrity in the News Department of Channel 9 after I became its head. For this reason, the reporters, news cameramen and drivers had sought my ouster and met with union officers and the general manager of the broadcast network. Thank God, their efforts were in vain. The department, through the former news managers and supervisors, had condoned corruption through the years.