Monday, July 17, 2006

ABSCBN News ANC Wants To Become CNN East?

BSCBN News is undertaking a massive makeover of its major news operations and the All News Channel ANC, perhaps stung by perceptions that rival GMA networks could soon take over the number one spot in Philippine television. With ex-CNN Jakarta bureau chief Maria Ressa now handling Public Affairs at the network, there is a visible increase in the quality and quantiy of both global and domestic news and commentary. (Heck, David Celdran gets to interview picky "young Japanese women shoppers" in the poshest precincts of the Rippongo Hills and the Akihabara) A whole slew of new programs appear to be in the offing (Check out Manuel L. Quezeon's The Explainer program, for example, Tuesdays at 6pm). From the network spots featuring Maria Ressa, it looks like ANC wants to become the CNN of Southeast Asia, at least for starters, since the OFW market is really of global extent. The Filipino is among the 21st century's first global citizens... The initiative involves alliances with the Philippine Star (yecch!), Business World and Business Mirror. But they still have to show me they understand the World Wide Web and convergence...My reactions to a selection of new shows from last week...

MAGGIE DE LA RIVA was the incandescent presence on Cheche Lazaro's Media in Focus tv talk show last Friday, on the revitalized ABSCBN News ANC all news cable channel. As a 23 year old rising star in the ABSCBN network in 1967, Ms. de la Riva was abducted one night on her way home, raped and tortured by a notorious gang of young men led by Basilio Pineda and Vicencio Jose. Unline most other rape victims, she decided to accuse the rapists nonanonymously and in a dramatic series of court appearances won their conviction and sentencing to death. As a young man, my family lived just blocks away from the Swanky Hotel in Pasay City, and I remember vividly the newspaper pictures of those men with shaven heads just before they were fried from brain to balls in the electric chair. For many of my generation, that seared in our young minds forever this message: Rape is EVIL! The victory of Justice in this case was self-evident in the grace, bravery and enduring humanity that lives on in Maggie de la Riva. The other interesting guest of Ms. Lazaro was RENE SAGUISAG, who was discussing the eternal struggle between the "right of the public to know" and the "rights of privacy." He brings up the point that in the Subic Bay Rape Case, there is nothing in the law that requires the identity of the accused to be divulged. But in this country, we have far many more serious examples of the violation of the principle of the presumption of innocence. For example. But I was disappointed that Cheche Lazaro did not ask her other guest, Rina Jimenez David to explain her published claim that the real significance of the Nicole rape story is that it is really not about one woman and four men, but about the entire American military raping the entire Filipino nation because that is the way Americans are.
According to Rina (PDI 7/8/06): "But even that resounding victory for the nationalist cause would ultimately be eroded by the VFA and the continuing presence of the American military on our soil. Which just goes to show that when Americans want to f—k with you, they’ll f—k you any which way."
RAMON J. FAROLAN writing for PDI yesterday, passionately castigates the Philippine Military and the Palace for its treatment of the six recaptured Magdalo soldiers...
"The junior officers arrested that day are not criminals. They do not deserve to be treated as such; and I was appalled that the AFP chief of staff, the PNP chief and the Army commander allowed themselves to be used in a photo opportunity that degraded and destroyed the dignity of these young officers. (Save this type of photo-ops for bank robbers, gambling lords or rapists!)

Whatever they have done, these officers are your younger brothers. With all the power in your hands, you can discipline and mete out punishment if the charges against them are proven. But there is no need to humiliate and diminish them as human beings and fellow officers. Their actions that began with the Oakwood mutiny do not stem from a desire for personal gain or power. They stem mainly from having seen the injustice and corruption in our society, which has led to a strong desire for meaningful change.

If the idea of subjecting these officers to shame and ridicule is to discourage others from taking a similar path, let me suggest that such action could have the opposite effect; it could instead engender resentment, bitterness and hostility among others in the organization."
Commodore Rex Robles (ret.), a member of the Feliciano Commission which investigated the Oakwood Mutiny (whose 3rd anniversary is next week!), told ANC last week a very similar thing. He believes that of 10,000 officers in the Armed Forces, perhaps 20% or 2000 of them are sympathetic to the Magdalo group of 300 Oakwood mutineers. He does not believe that the arrests of the six escaped Magdalo soldiers can possibly be an end to the just concerns of those idealistic and active junior officers in the armed services. The Feliciano Commission found plentiful reasons for restiveness in the military because of the rampant corruption at the top, a fact that the Palace has consistently countered with a massive propaganda campaign that paints the Magdalo as purely the dolts of politicians or Latin American banana republic-type putschists. Yet the unavoidable fact about the Magdalo is this: they are combat veterans and heroes of many battles against communist and separatist insurgents, they have staked their lives for the Republic. Their accusations have been more than confirmed in the exposure and conviction of the AFP's previous comptroller Gen. Garcia, and subsequent revelations. Honor, decency, fairness and moderation demand that their impassioned and earnest voices be heard and not suppressed. We cannot condone violence or coup d'etat, but I submit that if these men are guilty of any crime, it is not these.

Check out the Hillblogger for more along this vein, (also in the Comment Thread.)

KORINA SANCHEZ FRIDAY had on retiring General Generoso Senga, who probably gives a lot of people the creeps with the way he seems to always be walking on egg shells (you know what I mean?) I suspect Senga is the source of the Danilo Lim video tape that Korina led off Bandila with a few weeks ago. (She should ask for the one with HIM withdrawing support!) She seemed to be thanking him anyway for such favors. Senga is under a cloud, even as he just wants to quietly step into retirement without getting his starched uniform spattered upon. The whole story of February 24 has not been told. I think ABSCBN cannot just play along dumb as if the Danilo Lim Video just popped up out of the garbage can. No one can force ABSCBN to reveal their source for it, which General Lim claims never to have hidden but that its acquisition was illegal. But if this is all it will be good for--to bolster Palace propaganda--then they have been mere willing tools.

Such inutile acceptance of being used, if it stays that way, won't get ANC "a place at the global table of ideas."


(1400) Suckers for a Pretty Face
Korina Sanchez at 1pm Today was a replay of her interview with Joelle Pelaez, a former second runner up in the annual Binibining Pilipinas contest who was introduced by her mother, Blanquita Pelaez to President Joseph Estrada. To deflect accusations that her own mother "peddled her to the former president" in order to get a lucrative contract to supply handcuffs to the PNP, Joelle told Korina that it was actually Annabelle Rama (a notorious procurer of young things for dirty old men like Chavit and Erap) who brought her to parties, along with the other runners up in the contest, starlets and assorted delicacies from the delicatessen of Filipino delights. Just for being pretty, nothing more right? Korina slipped in with stealthy sarcasm, Joelle got 2 million pesos from Erap and/or Chavit.

And the following exchange was delicious:

Korina: "President Estrada claims that he would not have been interested in you because he never goes for second runner up or any kind of runner up. How would you react to that?"

Joelle: "Well, I guess, he can say whatever he wants to, teehee..."

Korina:"Yeah, you got the Rolex anyway, right?"

Joelle: "Yeah, haha right! right!"

Touché Korina! Korina is really are getting to be the Barbara Walters of the Philippines. The silly lil ditz with a pretty face didn't even get Korina's superb dig at her true character.

Ilocano money was must've been raining all over the demagagosphere until Chavit's lollipop left to resume her job at a talent agency in LA. later last week. But the little episode shows that Filipinos are easy suckers for a pretty face, even a second runner up, as most of the rest of the media treated this venomous mynx with kid gloves, sopping up her teary performances and sobbing perorations. And Korina would intone at the end of her show: "May the truth prevail!"
In this country? What a laugh.

(1900) FIDEL RAMOS WAS JUST TALKING TO DONG PUNO: Ho-Humbug! (Not even worth paraphrasing or commenting on).

(2100 TALKBACK WITH TINA MONSON PALMA) Human rights lawyer Rene Saguisag savages the military authorities for their disrespect of the civilian authority and a landmark Supreme Court decision (June 21, 1984). He reminded the authorities of the Court's order forbidding that any prisoner be held incommunicado, as the Magdalo 6 apparently are. I can understand Atty. Saguisag's fury, considering that in that landmark decision the prisoner in question was no less than Communist Party honcho Jose Maria Sison! In the present case, Atty. Saguisag is representing a combat veteran of the anticommunist campaigns, Capt. Nathaniel Rabonza. The army rep, a Lt. Bacaro, was completely out of his league with former Sen. Saguisag. who is a bonafide hero of anti-Marcos struggle and a renowned human rights lawyer and civil libertarian. Poor bloke winced when Rene called his boss, General Esperon, "salot ng bayan" on ANC TV just now.


ricelander said...

When a society finds itself restraining in prison the likes of General Danny Lim and having as VIPs worthy of presidential attention the likes of Governor Chavit Singson, something must be terribly wrong!


Thanks Dean for the plug.


And to keep the likes of Esperon, a Garci general, as chief and the lone 4-star general of the Armed of the Philippines is completely anathema to the free world's military.


We must not forget that the AFP is currently committing a serious military crime on the person of BrigGeneral Danilo Lim. He's been incarcerated for over 4 months now with no formal charges filed against him and with no trial in sight so that he (Lim) may have his day in court.

Absolutely gobsmacking in the extreme.

I do not condone mutinies, let alone coup d'états, but I would be relieved and wouldn't be surprised at all if young, idealistic officers decide to topple Gloria's government and her crop of corrupt generals by force!

When you have a corps of young officers mutinying, SOMETHING IS VERY VERY WRONG...

The first heads that should have rolled were the leaders at the top of the military. Unacceptable that they were allowed to remain in place!



On your "The initiative involves alliances with the Philippine Star (yecch!)"


On the Pelaez girl: must be a real dark-haired bimbo.

Anonymous said...

Re : Joelle Pelaez.

What made this girl change her mind in filing charges against ERAP?
She was just full of hot air.Imagine saying that she was given a Rolex,a condo unit and a car in exchange for nothing....

It would be a cold day in hell for ERAP just to give away anything for nothing.

I do not condone the womanizing and other vices of the president but I would believe him that those were false accusations.

Anonymous said...

Concerning ABS' alliances with STAR, obviously they are still under the MAX Faxtor.

manuelbuencamino said...


I think the Danny Lim tapes and the leaks from the investigation report on Feb 24 were damaging to Senga. It made him look like a waverer.

Why would he leak them o the press? Now I can see why Esperon would do it.



Great synopsis of the 2100 TALKBACK WITH TINA MONSON PALMA.

manuelbuencamino said...

Re : Dong Puno/FVR

I don't know why ANC thinks viewers would actually enjoy watching Ramos getting a handjob from Dong Puno.

Rizalist said...

Haha the old codger was really boring last night. But here's the scoop...Dong Puno is running for the Senate next year!


You ain't serious now, are you Dean?

Lord Dracula said...

Dong Puno is running again? Wala lang, knee-jerk reaction ko lang he he he.



I've just read a comment somewhere that Philippine presidents court the military as if it's the most natural exercise in the world for a commander in chief to do.

Here's my take on this "need", bordering, perhaps on the "awe" of the military thing by presidents, politicians and the civilian population as a whole.

It's really just occured to me that there is truth to the perception that Philippine presidents have this practice of "courting" the military - at least, its leaders - BUT THAT PRACTICE IS DOWNRIGHT WRONG and completely, utterly absurd!

The undelying principle in a democracy is that the military is subservient to the civilian government.

The military must “kowtow” to their commander-in-chief and not the other way around.

The public has a share of the blame: Many of our people in government, in the population and in civil society, in media, glorify, adulate, virtually put the Philippine military on a pedestal as if they are super heroes. They ARE NOT!

To earn the monicker of "super heroes, etc." and that kind of public recognition, the military must be PROFESSIONALS or our military is FAR from being professionals.

Many perhaps don't realize it but their "adulation" of the military instituion is tinged with "fear" - thus the goin' a courtin' reaction. Totally delusional reaction.

In both peace and war time, the men and women who join the military are paid to do a job. If they do it well, they should be honored like anybody else of a given profession. But to put them on a pedestal in peace time, and as one might say, courted for their loyalty and service is definitely absurd.

If there are military officers who do not fit the bill of their profession, they must be kicked out from the service, if they misbehave, they must be punished, if commanders cannot control their officers and troops, that commander must be hanged, if they play prima donas at peace time, they must be declared misfits and chastised.

In war time, the military finds itself in its own environment and because they know what to do (presumably) they are accorded the importance they deserve.

But in peace time, they should be quiet, left in peace by our media, our politicians, the public, so that they can do the job of preparing for war without fanfare. Presidents shouldn't make a big deal of the loyalty by the military.

It's true that our presidents have completely spoiled our military in one way, and in another way, completely humiliated them. There's been no balance. Their treatment of the officers and troops is akin to how Henry XIII treated his army - on one hand, with adulation and on the other hand, with scorn. Absolutely ridiculous.

Our current crop military will never be able to take the helm of government so there’s nothing to fear from them. The media need not be scared of a successful coup d’état. Even Gloria, a complete non-entity, could turn our military around her little finger so what is there to fear? It is Gloria whom we must fear… she’s turned the leadership of the military into vegetable soldiers, almost a useless entity.

At the end of the day, it is the civilian government and the public that have put our military and its leadership in total disarray.


Do you know that in the US and in the West, when a military officer retires, he usually reverts to his civilian title of Mr?

And unless he performs another function for the government, a former military officer or a retired officer divests himself of his title. Perhaps, out of courtesy, he may be addressed (from time to time)with his military rank at an official gathering or some public function of some sort but in reality, his military title goes into a cupboard the moment he retires.

The only time he is called again by his military rank in public is when he dies and his title is marked on his tombstone.

This Philippine mania for titles preceeding names is ridiculous!

Rizalist said...

Thanks for that HB. BTW here is an interesting item about an American deserter and what happened when he turned himself in...

Nov 27, 2004 (AXcess News) Washington - A former U.S. Army sergeant who defected to North Korea almost 40 years ago - has been released after serving 25 days in military detention in Japan. The ordeal for Charles Robert Jenkins is not quite over, however.

The plight of the 64-year-old American, married to a Japanese woman who was abducted by North Korean agents, has been closely followed here.

Earlier this year, Charles Jenkins, who defected to and spent 39 years in North Korea, was allowed to go to Japan after much diplomacy by Tokyo. The former U.S. Army sergeant then turned himself into U.S. military officials here. He pleaded guilty to desertion at his court martial, was demoted to the rank of private, ordered dishonorably discharged and sentenced to 30 days detention at an American military jail at the Yokosuka Naval Base.

Saturday, U.S. Army Major Martha Brooks said Jenkins was released six days early for good behavior.

"He arrived at Camp Zama by Black Hawk helicopter with the company commander and the first sergeant," said Major Brooks. "Right now he is going on administrative leave until the weekend is over and right now he is just spending time with his family."

Major Brooks says despite his release from detention, Jenkins remains an active-duty soldier - at least for a little while longer.


"Monday he starts his outprocessing as any soldier would do," she said. "The outprocessing normally, for a soldier, would take anywhere from a week to a month, so therefore we're not going to speculate on how long it will take but then he will be discharged from the military."

Jenkins testified at his trial that he had appeared in North Korean propaganda films and taught English to military cadets there while living with other American defectors under spartan conditions. In North Korea in 1980, he met Hitomi Soga, who had been kidnapped in Japan by North Korean agents. They married and have two daughters.

Their story has been in the headlines for two years since Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi went to Pyongyang in 2002. During that trip, North Korea finally admitted it had kidnapped Japanese nationals in the 1970s and 80s and agreed to let Ms. Soga and several others return to Japan.

Jenkins, fearing tough prosecution by the U.S. Army if he returned to Japan, stayed behind with his two daughters. It took Ms. Soga two years of lobbying and intensive diplomatic international negotiations to make a deal for Jenkins.

The family was reunited in July. Jenkins surrendered himself in September. The family intends to settle on remote Sado Island in Japan, which is Ms. Soga's hometown.


Yep, read that.

Was a big thing.

Anonymous said...

at least with ANC, we get the perspective of local and international news through Filipino eyes. who knows? ANC might just become the CNN of Southeast Asia.