Friday Frontpage forum: Raining on Sunstar

 Andrea Lou H. Magnaye comments on a sun star crime report


            “This commentary only aims to discuss the article in the provided link above in accordance with the Philippine Journalist’s Code of Ethics and the Code of Professional and Ethical Conduct of the Philippine Press Institute. The article is about the malversation of funds and several anomalies that were discovered at Benguet General Hospital (BeGH) through an investigation conducted by the Provincial Government.

“Under the Philippine Journalist’s Code of Ethics, a journalist “shall scrupulously report and interpret the news, taking care not to suppress essential facts nor to distort the truth by omission or improper emphasis.” Further, he/she “shall “recognize the duty to air the other side and the duty to correct substantive errors promptly.” Malversation of funds and other anomalies mentioned in the article are sensitive and critical issues that involve public interest; thus, getting the view from the other side is necessary. However, there is nothing in the article that expressly or impliedly states the act of the writer to perform the same. Likewise, the writer failed to exercise the necessary diligence and prudence in making sure that fairness to both parties is observed. The writer was not able to show Benguet General Hospital’s or Mr. Dison Balangue’s side of the story. Moreover, attempts to acquire the same for the sake of fairness and equality were not directly stated or implied.

            “Under III.2 of and the Code of Professional and Ethical Conduct of the Philippine Press Institute, “single-source stories must be avoided as a rule.” In connection with the preceding paragraph, the writer only relied on the allegations of Provincial Legal Officer Danio Bolislis and the Provincial Government’s affidavit-complaint. The need to get more sources, especially from the other party involved in the issues, was not satisfied. The provision of the Code also mandates that a journalist “must strive at all times to ascertain the truth of sources’ assertions.” On the contrary, the writer plainly based the article on the allegations of the complainants; extra effort to validate, confirm, or get other views was not exerted.

            “Under the Philippine Journalist’s Code of Ethics, a journalist “shall presume persons accused of crime of being innocent until proven otherwise.” Although the writer used the term “alleged” throughout the article, the previously discussed failure or omission to present Benguet General Hospital’s or Mr. Dison Balangue’s side also tends to taint the parties’ innocence. Likewise, the whole article appears to be favorable to the allegations of the Provincial Government and might be prejudicial to the other. The article might influence the public to believe that the allegations of the complainants are true, despite the pending actions in Court that have not been resolved by final judgment.”

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About marichulambino

Pls visit my blog at, i post there daily; i'm not on Facebook/ Twitter or any social network site. Asst submitted this to VP for Acad last week upon request for faculty highlights/ bullet points for the University site: “TOWNS Awardee for Law (The Outstanding Women in the Nation’s Service) 2004-2007. "Marie Claire Magazine launch issue voted and listed as Top 25 Women Who Changed Our Lives (“Top 25 Women Who Rock”, Oct. 21, 2005). "Philippine Graphic Magazine voted and listed as the Top 25 Young Leaders for 2004, anniversary issue. "Award, 16th Anniversary, Ombudsman’s Office: 'selfless service, dedication, tireless efforts in assisting the Office of the Ombudsman for in the prosecution of the plunder case against former President Joseph Estrada'. "Citation for excellent public service, Special Prosecutor, Ombudsman’s Office for her work in the plunder case People vs. Estrada, Oct. 17, 2007 upon successful termination of the case. "Tribute, Philippine Collegian 2001 as 'private prosecutor, for integrity held above price, for service freely given, for truth steadfastly pursued, for embracing the ideals of the Philippine Collegian beyond the confines of the University.' "Award, St. Scholastica Student Council July 6, 2001 'for her undying patriotism, love and service to all her Filipino countrymen.' "Tribute, Konggreso ng Mamamayang Pilipino (KOMPIL) (Congress of Filipino Citizens) for helping in the fight against corruption in the highest offices of the land and for upholding justice, 2002. "1996 Award of Merit from U.P. Diliman: 'In recognition of her dedicated and exemplary services as U.P. Diliman Chief Legal Officer ...pioneering efforts, outstanding leadership, team-building skills, administrative competence...' "Visiting Forces Agreement case, delivered the oral arguments in the Supreme Court for main petitioner, Bayan, in Bayan et al vs. Executive Secretary. "Her case Posadas, Torres-Yu, & Lambino vs. Dizon (NBI), et al, on attempted invalid warrantless arrests on-campus, is now included in criminal law and criminal procedure textbooks, syllabus, and lectures in MCLE"

Posted on June 14, 2013, in News, Students' reviews, The News Media and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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