What a way to get back to my beloved Palawan jungle and this blog! Once again, my native Filipino people have proven to all and sundry that they will stop at nothing, not even the tragedy of a suicide---or a murder---to get what they want. Principles mean nothing to murderers, thugs masquerading as governors of Palawan or mayors of Puerto Princesa, or rich do-gooders who own media outlets like ABS-CBN and subvert the principles of fairness of journalism, just because environmentalism happens to be in fashion.
With this in mind, let's open fire on all these assholes.
GERRY ORTEGA: CRY FOR JUSTICE OR POLITICAL AMBITION?
As a Palaweno, I don't care about Joel Reyes and their stupid Palawan politics. But why is Edward Hagedorn so involved in this case? And why does the media lap up everything that Hagedorn says? Because Hagedorn is an environmentalist, or likes to think he is?
If I put Hagedorn in my jungle outpost deep in the mountains of southern Palawan, he wouldn't last three days without his coterie of bodyguards and assassins spoonfeeding him and wiping his ass.
Hagedorn could care less about the environment. He's in it for the political capital. Or is Hagedorn the media favorite because of the free trips to Palawan the Puerto Princesa City government gives to journalists who publicize Hagedorn's name?
Come on newsmen, dig a little deeper. Who benefits politically if Joel Reyes goes to jail for murder? Edward Hagedorn has been trying to become Palawan governor for years. But because the rest of Palawan hates Puerto Princesans and their Mayor Hagedorn, he's always lost to Salvador Socrates and his disciple Joel Reyes. That is until Socrates died--and Joel Reyes nearly did too--in two subsequent plane crashes caused by mechanical problems suspiciously originating from the Puerto Princesa Airport.
Sure, by all means, let's investigate the Ortega killing. But the news media shouldn't fall for Hagedorn's trickery, just because environmentalism is the buzzword of the day. Think about it. Why would the chief gunman surrender to Hagedorn and the very people likely to wreak revenge on him? Unless they already had a deal beforehand? And so what if this gunman used to be Reyes's personal bodyguard? Henchmen change sides ALL THE TIME. This gunman has already proven he can be induced to do anything for the right price, including what Hagedorn tells him to. The events leading to the arrest of the suspects in the Ortega killing stinks to high heavens of a setup and a scripted scenario.
So is it possible that Hagedorn had Ortega killed to gain political capital? Or maybe Hagedorn's own business interests? It's possible. Just as it's also possible Joel Reyes had Ortega killed, just like Hagedorn said.
I do know for a personal fact that Hagedorn employs thugs and assassins to do his murderous work. Joel Reyes may well be doing the same thing, just like Duterte, Dy, Ampatuan, Joson, Dimaporo and the rest of the so-called provincial warlords. But because he has everything to gain from Reyes's imprisonment, Hagedorn has no right to be saying what he's saying. But that's not the point. He's a lowlife politician, and lowlife politicians are expected to say such things.
The point is that the media should'nt be parroting what Hagedorn is saying. It's bad enough the lackadaisical law enforcement authorities are doing the same thing. But the reason the lawmen are doing it is because the media are doing it, and they hate contradicting the media. So media people, please! Get off your asses and start probing like you're supposed to. Stop spoonfeeding off Hagedorn for your info. This is a murder case pure and simple. Unless the Philippine media really are as corrupt--and sometimes worse than--the Philippine government.
ABS-CBN AND GINA LOPEZ: SPITTING ON THE JOURNALISM CODE OF ETHICS
Today, on Channel 27 ANC cable channel, which is owned by ABS-CBN, I just saw the interview by Tony Velasco of Atty. Harry Roque and the widow of Gerry Ortega.
I sympathize with any widow, of course, having had my own tragedies, but I do not believe that porke biyuda ka lang, hindi ka na pwedeng magkamali. We Filipinos are stupid for believing that tradition, and in fact I still feel that Teresita Reyes (widow of former Defense Sec. Angelo Reyes) should still be called by Sen. Jinggoy Estrada to the Senate to account for those AFP funds, assuming Estrada still has the guts to do so after Angie's suicide and the condemnation it brought Estrada for harassing Angie. Because it's hypocritical of Senator Estrada to call in the wife of Gen. Jacinto Ligot, and then refuse to call in the widow Reyes, when it was Estrada who accused both Angelo Reyes and Jacinto Ligot of the same crime. But that's another story.
In the interview over ANC Channel 27, Ortega's widow accused practically every major government official except Mayor Edward Hagedorn of supporting mining in Palawan and---by association---having participated in her husband's murder. Her emotional outburst included former governor Joel Reyes, present governor Baham Mitra, former vice governor Dave Ponce de Leon, congressman Alfred Abueg, and maybe more of them if she had more time.
Hoy, newsmen, aren't you even curious as to what these people have in common? All of them are or have been bitter enemies of Edward Hagedorn of Puerto Princesa in his insatiable drive to grab the governorship of Palawan for himself and his family.
Now imagine if the widow Ortega's wishes were granted and all these men went to jail for her husband's murder. Hagedorn must be peeing in his adult diapers at the delightful thought of having no opposition to speak of when he runs for governor of Palawan in 2013.
I'll be merciful toward the widow Ortega and not talk about the rather suspicious motives of her not including Hagedorn, or even J.C. Alvarez--only the biggest illegal logger in Palawan---in her accusations. Let's talk instead about how ANC under ABS-CBN treated the interview, and what journalism principles were violated.
One, the host Tony Velazquez let Mrs. Ortega make all these accusations against all these Palawan officials, including the crimes of illegal mining, malversation and murder. It violated not only the journalistic ethic against unproven accusations, it also was tantamount to committing the crime of libel. So why did ABS-CBN allow this to happen.?
Two, the other side, notably Joel Reyes et al., were not around to respond, and I did not hear any efforts to solicit their side. This violated the journalistic ethic of objectivity and fair play. Again, why was it allowed to happen?
Well, apparently it happened because ABS-CBN bigwig Gina Lopez got her information on the Palawan situation from her fellow environmentalist Edward Hagedorn, and she is so committed to environmentalism that she has decided without benefit of trial that Joel Reyes et al is guilty as charged, and either she ordered ABS-CBN to conduct a smear campaign against Joel Reyes, or ABS-CBN executives did it on their own, to kiss the powerful Gina Lopez's ass. Either way, screw the journalistic code of ethics.