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ROUGH CUTS | The ‘ayudas’ as vote enticers

FOR years now up to just a few days ago we were so fanatically loyal to this broadcast network. No, not just because our former boss at a radio station chain is now a ranking executive in the television network but because we were able to clearly discern the fairness in the station’s reporting of news and treating issues that concern the Filipino people.

     Despite the assertions of certain sectors that the network is just like all the others that were bias against or in favor of certain personalities, or even the government, we refused to believe.  We simply took such assertions as manifestation of the personal biases of those individuals who have made such a claim. But the day the new iconic bridge in Cebu was inaugurated with no less than President Rodrigo Duterte as the guest of honor, we realized that there is more than just iota of truth to the claim of bias.

     We listened to all the editions of the newscast of the network starting from its early evening one-hour report and in its on-line version as well as its late night newscast. We also viewed all its newscasts the day after or April 28, 2022. What did we get? What was reported was not the inauguration per se. There was not even any mention of the project and its relevance to the efforts of the administration to solve the problem of the burgeoning traffic in that Central Philippines city. 

    Instead, the network highlighted in its news report the speech of the President where he admitted his underestimation of the magnitude of the drug proliferation resulting to his failure in confronting the problem bedeviling the country. In other words the network opted to present the negative instead of the positive aspect that happened in the government’s effort to stomp the proliferation of illegal drugs. 

     This kind of reporting is, for us, very much contradictory to the journalistic dictum of presenting both sides of the issue in the fairest manner possible. With this personal observation of ours we are not anymore afraid to assume that this is the same reason why officials and residents of Sorsogon complained of the absence of appropriate news coverage when the scenic costal highway in that Southern Luzon Province was inaugurated a few years ago. It is one very significant infrastructure project of the national and local government in that province. Yet, according to some observers in that region the project was seemingly ignored. We are letting out this view of ours not because we are pro or against the administration or anybody identified with the establishment. We are just dismayed at the thought that the one media establishment that we have idolized for so long almost to the level of fanaticism we suddenly discovered the harsh truth that, after all, some of its people – or even possibly the management –may have tacitly approved of it as a matter of policy. Clearly, this is a clear deviation from the accepted norms in reporting.  

     Now we cannot help but believe that most, if not all media organizations and enterprises in the Philippines are now fast influenced by these on-line foreign-funded news gatherers and supposed independent fact-checkers.  May be they think that the scheme is the fastest way to the top of the rating game and subsequently the ticket for the influx of advertisers.


   We watched with amusement the television coverage of the activities and listened intently to the speeches of candidates for councilors in Davao City’s second district during their rally in Mandug. 

     Every one of those seeking reelection talked about the resolutions and ordinances they have introduced in the City Council that made possible the financial as well as in-kind assistance such as food items distributed in food packs to the people badly affected by the 3-year CoViD 19 pandemic.

     Those aspiring for a council seat for the first time are also promising to high heavens that they’ll do everything they can to alleviate the lot of the second district residents.

     On the other hand through similar television and broadcast network coverage the same resolutions and/or ordinances were also claimed to have been introduced by incumbents and reelection seeker dads in the other two districts of the city.

     We are wondering who really is or are the authors of the aid-providing resolutions and ordinances? Or have they resorted to such skullduggery so they can easily dodge the negative feedbacks that may come from the beneficiaries of their supposed “ayudas when the appropriate time comes?”

     Yes, we have no doubt that many of the beneficiaries may appear happy with the assistance consisting usually with a kilo of rice, three cans of sardines, a can or two of corned beef – not even enough to meet the meals requirement for a day of a family of five. And worst, the “ayuda” comes in only once or twice (at the most) a year.

     Of course some of the “ayudas” are distributed this election season and initiated supposedly by the candidates with the hope that the distribution will help boost their candidacy. 

     Perhaps it is worth reminding the candidates for the City Council that the gullibility of their constituents is not forever.

     For comments and/or reactions we can be reached through our e-mail address at; Mobile No. 09392980435; and Landline at 2372169



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