Korina Sanchez and He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named

WHETHER TV BROADCASTER Korina Sanchez deliberately omitted Vice President Jejomar Binay’s name on three occasions is not the issue. It’s Sanchez’s presence in a news program that is.

ABS-CBN should have heeded its former news head’s opinion regarding journalists who get personally involved in politics.

“A good rule of thumb is to follow the government’s policy,” said Maria Ressa. “If you ran or if you campaigned, you have to take a year off first [from broadcasting].”

Sanchez is married to Sen. Mar Roxas, who lost to Binay in the May 2010 elections.

I told you issues like this were bound to happen. I hope it gets addressed soon, otherwise TV Patrol will suffer greater credibility loss.

[UPDATED 5.iii.11 10:27am]

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Corruption according to Maria Ressa

MARIA RESSA, former ABS-CBN news and current affairs head, gives us insights on how corruption in media — and corruption in general (pun unintended) — happens with a sad, sad complexity. She also offers sensible baby steps to the solution.

The Courage to Do What’s Right

[…] I KNOW you can do both, but it’s not easy to be both successful and ethical in our country today. Corruption is endemic. It infiltrates so many aspects of our lives. Influence-peddling is the name of the game. Conflicts of interest are all over the place. I found many Filipino organizations have a difficult time even defining what conflict of interest means. It’s too easy to rationalize particularly when it means more money or influence.

Continue reading in Ms Ressa’s blog.

Conflict of interest

SEEMS like it’s still too early for former Vice President Noli de Castro and Ms. Korina Sanchez (wife of former Sen. Mar Roxas) to go back to TV Patrol.

Mar Roxas’s vice-presidential defeat in the May elections still seems to be an open wound for his supporters, (perhaps) including the ex-senator’s wife. And memories of De Castro’s presumed support for the unpopular former President (now Pampanga representative) Gloria Macapagal Arroyo still lingers in many people’s minds, including mine.

Can they really report — or even read — news without us raising an eyebrow in suspicion regarding their supposed impartiality? Especially now that President Noynoy Aquino is still on his first 100+ days in office (and already hounded by various controversies), Sanchez and De Castro seem to be candidates for case studies on conflict of interest.

Imagine the day when TV Patrol reports about a stubborn Mar Roxas election protest as well as the role of the former vice president in the controversy-infested administration of former Pres. Arroyo.

Now the question arises: Is this why former ABS-CBN news head Maria Ressa left? She has been identified as a staunch opponent to a Sanchez-and-de-Castro comeback until her last days at ABS-CBN. In an Inquirer interview some time after Pres. Aquino’s election, Ressa was quoted as saying, “[Their return is] a case of conflict of interest… There is a need to transition. There is no quick fix.” She also added, “A good rule of thumb is to follow the government’s policy: If you ran or if you campaigned, you have to take a year off first [from broadcasting].”

I agree.