1001 and more reasons why we say NO to ABS CBN
FAIRNESS, FIRST AND FOREMOST
by Ernesto M. Hilario
Business Mirror columnist
February 22, 2016
IN the past several weeks members of the homegrown Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC), the third-largest religious denomination in the Philippines, are said to have called for a boycott against a leading broadcast network for its “biased reporting.” The reason: The “family” network, they claim, has been blowing out of proportion the smallest incidents in the INC’s internal affairs and making every move of expelled members worthy of coverage and airtime.
The INC has made it clear that it has not issued any official boycott orders. But it hastened to add that it cannot prevent individual members from expressing their displeasure regarding alleged one-sided reporting through both mainstream and social media.
Should the INC be defensive and apologetic about the boycott?
It’s a religious organization, after all, that has its own set of rules and is accountable to its own members. Whether it authorizes a boycott or not is its own choice.
Perhaps the more important question should be: Is the “family” network’s reporting biased and unfair? Let’s look at what really happened.
One, the expelled members are said to have repeatedly made premeditated moves to forcibly enter the INC compound in Tandang Sora, always with the “family” network news crews and ex-military personnel in tow.
Do these former INC members have the right to be allowed inside? The INC doesn’t think so, since they have been expelled, and have in fact filed a string of cases against the INC leadership. The last thing the expelled members should expect is a welcome mat at the INC’s private property. Still, the “family” network made a big to-do about being denied entry.
Two, the “family” network often gets exclusive access to the press conferences of the “tiwalag” members, whose smallest complaints are made national news. It reported an expelled member’s “plan” to file charges against PNP officers who were serving a validly issued warrant of arrest, but the network has kept mum about their criminal complaints against the INC having been dismissed by the Department of Justice for being baseless. Isn’t this being choosy about what “news” to feed the public?
Let the public be the judge.
The broadcast network isn’t likely to publicly admit or reveal if it is aiding what seems to be a demolition job against the INC by disgruntled ex-members and their financiers. The least it should do is to demonstrate some semblance of fairness, by allowing both parties to air their side.