Thursday, September 23, 2010

Media Out of Focus

"A journalist is only as good as the last story he wrote."

It did not surprise me to see media practitioners and even networks included in the list of the Incident Investigation and Review Committee (IIRC). Clearly, broadcast media overstepped the bounds of press freedom. They need not be told by any authority what they can and cannot air. It's a lame excuse to say that the police did not give any guidelines on what can broadcast. Either these people were stupid or simply ambitious. I am appalled by the way broadcast media handled the situation. Their actions contributed to the deterioration of the situation.

I do not understand why they have to show the actions of the assault team or show on national television Mendoza's brother screaming like a stuck pig. Things may have ended differently if Erwin Tulfo and Michael Rogas of RMN did not tie up the line of communication for almost an hour.

All rights have limitations. Press freedom is not exempted from these limitations. Media should know when lives are endangered. At the end of the day, broadcast media should know when they should act as reporters and when they should act as human beings. The media I saw on that fateful August day is a horde of predators out to squeeze every drop of ratings they can get out of the incident. They should be brave enough to accept the consequences of their reckless actions.

Legislators now would like to repress some of their rights. Media has only itself to blame. They said that the PNP failed to give them orders so they just let their cameras roll. Now that congress wants to regulate them, they raise a howl. If only media knew how to regulate itself, congress wouldn't step in. Alas, the temptation of becoming stars was just too irresistible. The networks should be reprimanded, the more guilty ones (Tulfo and Roags) should fry.

Broadcast media at least on this matter was clearly out of focus.


Friday, September 17, 2010

The Illusion of Jueteng

I don't buy that jueteng gives employment to the poor. In fact, it enslaves them. A kubrador gets a measly 10% of his entire daily collections. It looks big until you see how many they are. A kubrador is lucky to earn P 200 for his efforts. Additional income can be had if one of his patrons win. And that very rarely happens. The biggest benefactor of jueteng is non other than the jueteng operator. The lowly kubrador slaves day in and day out to earn his keep while the operators sits idly by and rakes in hundreds of millions.

Like a slave, the lowly kubrador has no benefits. He has only himself to rely on when he gets sick. Is this how jueteng benefits the poor? Jueteng would be acceptable to those who are too naive to understand how jueteng really works. Jueteng's benefits is just an illusion to justify its existence. It's nothing but a means to exploit the poor and desperate. It's no wonder the Small Town Lottery (STL) will never succeed. No corrupt official will allow it. To legalize jueteng will take a big chunk of their earnings. Just imagine the tax they have to pay? They will have to raise the pay of the kubrador. Of course these people will have to pay their SSS contribution and medicare. No jueteng operator in his right mind will part ways with his millions. He would pay any amount to continue his exploitation.

*Jueteng operations in my area were temporarily stopped. A new chief of the PNP has just been appointed. People in the know will tell you this is the SOP every time a new chief is named. Negotiations will soon follow when everything settles down.