Comments Day

        To give way to people more learned than i am, we’re publishing comments as posts in big font, from the field of geo-sciences and natural sciences, an expert! This is from Prof. Marc Zarco, Ph.D., graduated magna cum laude, undergrad and post-grad,  and who as junior faculty a couple of years ago was among the youngest department chair at the U.P. College of Engineering [I know all these  because he’s a batchmate at the U.P. Integrated School (high school) and he, as a kid in high school,  was already a math wiz/ science wiz.] From Prof. Marc Zarco on the blog entry “108 killed in Albay” :

        quote “As a UP professor who does research on geo-hazards including landslides, allow me to share my opinions on the subject matter:   

          “1). The MGB of the DENR finished the hazards maps some time in the middle of year. They held a consultation with the various stakeholders and experts sometime in late August of this year. Whether these maps are accurate is another story. And this is not entirely the fault of the government, as geo-hazard experts are few and far between. The geologic setting of the
Philippines makes it unique in terms of the various mechanisms underlying landslides. This is one of the very few countries in the world where you find various the geohazards (flooding, volcanic eruption, earthquake, typhoon, landslide, tsunami) occurring in the same place simultaneously. In this country, everybody even the richest people face the risk of some type of geohazard. 

         “2). Together with various government agencies, we are working on a project involving the development of low cost sensors to monitor critical slopes in the Philippines, and provide an early warning system. Prior experience indicates that depending on people as a monitoring system is not effective. 

          “3). Based on my experience with community based seminars me and my colleagues have given, I have the following observations: 

        “a). People tend to engage in wishful thinking, i.e. even when they know a place is unsafe, they try to convince themselves that the place is safe.           “b). Even when you explain to them the dangers, they do not believe you and refuse to leave, refuse to make contingency plans, and do not welcome people warning them of the dangers of their place.            “4). During a disaster, many people who have never studied geo-hazards suddenly come out of the woodwork and claim to be experts on the subject matter. Then when all the interest dies are nowhere to be found.”unquote.Mark Zarco – December 1st, 2006 at 1:12 pm                                                                                                                                                          ### 

         This next one is from former U.P. student council chair and former U.P. student regent Mong Palatino, who walks the talk more than most of us do, he’s also a blogger, check out his blog: 

            From Mong Palatino:     

           quote  “i think we have become a refugee nation. People are forced to flee their homes not just because of internal wars but also because of environmental disasters. the sad thing is that we should have the know how, the expertise to deal with these disasters, more than 20 typhoons enter the country, but we do not prioritize the production of scientists, we push our professionals to leave the country.” unquote 

   mong – December 1st, 2006 at 10:51 pm                                                           



From the blogger called schumey; check out his blog for background…. [having started as anonymous, I am estopped from nosing around who he is (I was going to type “noseying” or “nosying”, conjugating the adjective nosy, but checked and it was “nosing”; Judge Pozon yesterday said “when she was `susuray-suray’, swinging from left to right” but later on the judge used the word without anymore translation “when she was `susuray-suray’, I’m glad he conjugated it in Pilipino and did not conjugate it by saying “when she was making `suray’ .” He could have said “when she staggered” but the Decision wanted to preserve the exact way the witnesses perceived   and worded it. I’m digressing]: 

              From the blogger called schumey on “108 killed in Albay”       

          quote “Compassion is what we should practise. I’ve blogged about this in my other blogsite. It seems that NGOs and private citizens have more compassion than this administration. The lack of response and funds is inexcusable. They can afford to spend money on unessential things like Cha-Cha but refrain from spending on the people. We all try to do our share in helping the less fortunate while the administration busies itself with how to save their necks.         

           “You wondered why I received hate mails regarding Nicole a few blogs back. I suppose it’s because I tried to spread the awareness regarding her plight. I think I got the message through as some people and groups took notice. A group in Tokyo had taken interest on the case that they are trying to include this in the PPT in
the Hague. I also raised the awareness of our ‘kababayans’ in different parts of the globe. I tried to promote her site through my blog and postings on other sites as well.

           “With the resolution of the case forthcoming, I hope that justice will be served. I may be biased about it and if I may state, its not just her rape but the fight for equality. I strongly believe that we as a nation are at the losing end of this treaty. In Japan and Korea, cases like this are taken seriously by the people and the government. Back here, its become a lonely fight for Nicole. The government instead of protecting us seem to favor the stronger nation.      

             “Nicole has been raped once, the government is raping her a second time by appointing a prosecution team who themselves has sold her out by issuing statements that had put her credibility under a cloud of doubt. I hope the judge would see the facts and evidences clearly than give in to pressure.”unquote schumey – December 1st, 2006 at 10:59 am                                                                                                                 ###          From the blogger DJB (real initials, real name) a long time ago,  one of the first commentators in this blog; I didn’t respond to the legal questions because I didn’t want to work ha-ha J sowee; but I would now and then here and there: 

          From DJB: 

          Quote”MCL–I think you need to tell us about RATIO DECIDENDI today. (I frankly am not even curious about the other question to tell you the truth, it’s just that everybody is asking but the answer is bound to be immaterial and irrelevant to these questions anyway.) 

Dean Jorge Bocobo – November 23rd, 2006 at 10:33 pm        

            “Can a Minute Resolution of the Supreme Court reverse a previous Decision by a single declarative sentence? Aside from the point you raised in your previous post on this, WHY do you think they put such a sentence in the Minute Resolution to deny PI with finality?      

             “That Ten of them feel so and so about Santiago vs. Comelec now–nine years later–and need to call attention to their individual opinions while constituted as an ad hoc division of the Court seems like a subtle subterfuge of stare decisis non quieta movere — or a golpe de gulat upon it.       

             “I suppose it would mean more if those Ten were all from the Court that decided Santiago v. Comelec.          

          “But what do you think of the theory that the Court is EMBARASSED by the criticism that the 1997 Decision calls 6735 “inadequate to enable PI” but does not strike it down as unconstitutional outright?           “Maybe they feel that Santiago v. Comelec in effect rules 6735 to be “insufficient in substance” to enable PI, which would be a judgment by the Court on the wisdom, or competence of the Congress.          “Now they just want to take the insult back? With a Minute resolution? Dean Jorge Bocobo – November 23rd, 2006 at 10:56 pm  


            “MCL–Okay, I admit it, a long time ago I stumbled on a blog entitled “Confessions at 7pm” and without reading a word said to myself “Hmm, how much of this secret info do I want to find out about?” and clicked through…        

           “I guess it’s just the fact that I’ve never been anonymous on the World Wide Web, though that hasn’t helped me become much less obscure. But I’m proud of my old blog’s motto:”Original,nonanonymous writing from the boondocks of the Philippine Archipelago!”        

          “One thing I urge you to do though is visit the Blogger Home and merely observe that every second of the day, 24/7 for the last few years, a new blog is born about once every SECOND. So the sheer number of them is staggering. And concepts of WHO you are to most people, are different in that sphere than what we are used to in “the real world”.”unquote 

DJB – November 23rd, 2006 at 11:23 pm                                                                                 


           From the blogger called jester-in-exile on the blog entry entitled “Justice”:           quote “I agree. justice was not served completely this day; and incomplete justice is no more than injustice.”unquote           the jester-in-exile – December 4th, 2006 at 5:52 pm                                                                                                       ### 

           From the blogger called schumey on the blog entry entitled “The detention of Daniel Smith”:

           quote “I found the verdict quite unsatisfactory. While I am happy about the conviction of Smith, I cannot accept the decision on the other accused. It may be safe to say that the public prosecutors were remiss in their ‘push’ for the conspiracy theory. Acquitting the other three ‘MAY’ show in the future that the rape never occurred. They were all in the van which made them all liable, they should not have isolated Smith, a crime of one is a crime of all. I am not a lawyer, this is just my simple appreciation of the circumstances.

          schumey – December 4th, 2006 at 9:47 am  


          “I am alarmed that some media entities/bloggers has included Nicole’s real name in their reports and posts. I condemn this act strongly. Human decency dictates that we must protect the identity and privacy of the rape victim. We should not add to the stigma this experience has given Nicole. AP has reported on this matter and even question why the exposure and condemns the practice. I hope that media and bloggers exercise sensitivity in their reporting and posts.”unquote.

Schumey – December 4th, 2006 at 11:57 pm                                     


                                                   end of comments                                     


          And finally, I didn’t include the comments of my brilliant students who typed “test.test.test” and  “testing.” and  “the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.” thank you.  

7 thoughts on “Comments Day

  1. In a cab ride to UP last June 20, the radio was tuned in to a GMA7 news program hosted by Mike Enriquez. After a few news reports, Mike Enriquez was suddenly pomoting North LUzon Expressway and how it is so sturdy because of the cement that was used to complete it. A news program turned into an advertisement of Portland Cement. and as if not yet satisfied, Mr. Enriquez went on with the same mantra for five minutes; it is safe to travel through NLEX because it was made from Portland Cement.

    This was an outright violation of the provision on conflict of interests in the code of ethics. Though it is rampant that news reporters are turning to product endorsers, it is rather unacceptable that watchdogs are bluntly promoting products that could have been or could be subjects of issues.

    Promoting products may not be illegal for news reporters but it certainly casts shadows in their credibilty as supposedly “truth-tellers.” If a negative issue arises about the product that they endorse, how will they be able to perform their duty as watchdogs and not breach the contract that they signed? this is one tough question that a lot of our reporters today has to address.


  2. Student # 8
    J 192
    (unedited by blog administrator)

    I found the June 23, 2007 issue of The Philippine Star disturbing beacuse of a story about an accident in Mandaluyong City accompanied by a photo.
    The photo was that of Victor Michael Angeles being taken out of his wrecked car. The photo was too close and you can see lots of blood all over his body.Angeles’ appearance was unimaginable. His eyes were bloated as well as is head and his mouth was somewhat “crushed.” You would also see the cry of pain in his torn face. The photo was horrible.

    I think it violated the PPI Code of ethics which states,”we shall avoid at all times….photographs, visuals ang graphics that are racist, sexist, INSENSITIVE….”. If taking photo of dead people needs cautiousness, I think it also applies to people in a horrible state (ex. accident victims).The photo,for me, was more “gross” than pathetic. I believe The Star should have been more sensitive to the victim, his family as well as to the readers.


  3. (unedited by blog administrator)

    I was able to watch GMA 7’s Unang Hirit yesterday (July 9). In the Unang Balita portion of the show, one of the reports was about a riot in a sugar factory in Valenzuela that happened because of a fight over a basketball game. The security guard on duty at that time tried to stop the chaos but someone tried to get hold of the guard’s gun. The guard “accidentally” pulled the trigger hitting one of the men included in the riot. The police said that the guard is still liable because the “accident” could’ve been prevented if he had only made a warning shot.

    What caught my attention was the way the reporter, Oscar Oida, delivered the news. He used “ang kawawang gwardiya” in refering to the security guard and added that this guard, who only tried to stop the riot, is now the one in trouble with the law (If I remember it right, I think Oida said that the guard is now the one “na naiipit”).

    I think there’s a bias in the way the news was reported by Oida– he already assumed that the guard was really not guilty. Whether the guard is guilty or not, still Oida should’ve reported the news objectively. He should not include his comments and feelings on the news since it would also affect the audience’s opinion. It’s like he’s already imposing on the viewers what they should think about the news that he reported.


  4. In the Foreign News section of the Philippine Star, a report was published regarding how Nigerian rebels released Margaret Hill, a three-year-old British girl who was held in their captivity for about a week. The report mentioned how the rebels were able to get hold of the girl, how the Nigerian government and security groups were pressuring the rebels, and how Margaret was faring immediately after she was released, which is not good, considering the report said the girl was like in some kind of trance when they were able to get her. Also, beside the story was a big picture of the girl hostage, even bigger than the space occupied by the story itself.

    This was an explicit violation of the Journalist’s Code of Ethics. Reporters are not supposed to mention the names of children, much less publish their photographs on newspapers and fully disclose their identities. The story is not one which celebrates the talents or abilities of the young girl. It sounds more like praise for those who were able to take her from the hands of the rebels, at the expense of a young girl’s privacy.

    Margaret Hill is only three years old and there is a lot waiting for her in the future. If it is to be made public that this British girl was once held captive by Nigerian rebels, her future might be in danger.


  5. Blog entry #1
    July 11, 2007

    Violence in the news

    Violence in any form is strictly prohibited from being shown on television especially during the news, a provision that was clearly stated in the code of ethics for television. But on Monday night, July 09, ABS-CBN seemed to have neglected about this. During their program, TV Patrol, one of their field reporters, Roland Castro, covered the story of a hold-up in Batasan Hills. It was shown in the news report how the suspect was caught by the police. But when they were on the way to the police station, the complainant, who was with the police when the arrest happened, punched the suspect while he was inside the tricycle. And when they reached the police station, the complainant hit the suspect again while he was in hand cuffs. It was evident in the suspect’s face that he was hurt by the punch of the complainant but he could do nothing about it. Nevertheless, the police made efforts to calm the complainant down.

    Even if many would think that what the complainant did was normal for someone who was angry, the act of punching shouldn’t still be shown in the news. It might send the audience the wrong idea that it is okay to hit a person because he did something wrong. It led the audience into thinking that the suspect deserved to be punched because of the crime he committed. People must understand that even if they are criminals, they still have human rights and that they should be treated fairly. They do not deserve to be hit or punched around especially on national television.


  6. (unedited by blog administrator)

    Nowadays, personal opinions and news have been proliferating in the airwaves. Last June 22 at 9:47am, Chino Trinidad of DZBB was reporting on Thailand’s former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. Trinidad said that Shinawatra was going to bid for a football team in UK worth 165 million dollars.

    After this brief news detail, Trinidad went on commenting on Shinawatra and later on to those who lost the last Philippine elecions.

    Trinidad said, “Sa mga natalo o nadaya raw, doon kayo sa Thailand tumakbo. Baka magkaroon kayo ng pwesto doon, prime minister.”

    This attitude was clear-cut unethical because such editorializing was passed-off as news. The problem is that, media illiterate people may just believe what they hear hook-line-and-sinker.

    Also, one of the provisions of the KBP Radio Code states that issues and commentaries must be presented fairly. With the way Trinidad delivered his remarks on those who lost the last elections, fairness was not obviously exercised.


  7. Student # 13 (On the HSA Forum)

    (Unedited by blog administrator)

    Section 18 of the anti-terror law, euphemisically called as the Human Security Act, states that any person could be arrested and detained even without a judicial warrant. Critics perceive this as the most dangerous provision of the said law. And we should all agree.

    This does not only violate basic human rights, it also gives the law enforcers and the powers that be the prerogative to accuse and to harrass anyone. This makes them megalomaniacs, paranoid people thinking and acting as gods and godesses.


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