Monday Meltdown: A post-mortem

By Francis Allan L. Angelo

What is irresponsible reporting?

Irresponsible reporting is:

-when you invent or concoct stories.

-when you twist words and context.

-when you are unfair by choice.

-when you ridicule or objectify persons to sensationalize your reports.

In the case of Dr. Ivan Anthony Henares’ statement on the Iloilo Central Market demolition, the Iloilo Press only reported his own words. He made the statement in a forum where he was introduced as secretary general of the UNESCO National Commission of the Philippines, thus the media will quote him and his current post in relation to his statement.

We also cannot call out the press for being unfair as they immediately sought the Mayor’s comment on Henares’s statement that they are investigating the matter. Again, the nature of the investigation is immaterial. Henares’s own words were very clear.

If Dr. Henares now denies his own words that were recorded during the forum after being confronted by Mayor Treñas, the onus is on him. He has perjured himself  before the  bar of public opinion possibly because of apprehension or embarrassment. This is not anymore the problem or fault of the Iloilo press that reported on the matter.

For Mayor Treñas to berate and even threaten to sue journalists who faithfully reported Henares words is unfortunate and chilling even. It is very unbecoming for someone who projects himself to be a freedom fighter.

The mayor did apologize and that is noted, but that apology now rings hollow because he denied threatening to sue the press despite the recordings and Facebook livestream. I hope this does not  become a pattern of things at the city hall.

If at all, Dr. Henares is the root of the Mayor’s Monday Meltdown, not the press. It is now Henares vs Henares, not Henares and Treñas vs the Press.

Unfortunately, the press was dragged in the internecine exchange between the mayor and one of his critics.

The matter is now subject of criminal and civil cases from the mayor’s end.

This is a matter between them, but this should not be a reason to intimidate and pillory the media for doing their work.

Piece of advice to our colleagues: always have a healthy dose of inquisitiveness and even doubt on the agenda of our sources, especially public officials or limelight seekers.