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.
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].”