On the reported retraction of ABS-CBN Gensan reporter over “No heroes welcome” story
[With permission from MindaNews columnist Patricio Diaz, who lives in General Santos City, I am posting his comment on the reported ABS-CBN Gensan reporter’s retraction on the No hero’s welcome for Pacquiao story. Sir Pat posted this in response to Carol Arguillas’ query on the report’s veracity. Carol moderates the e-group for the Mindanao Media Forum, where Sir Pat and I are both members.]
His comment: “There was this news story in the other day that Mayor Pedro Acharon Jr. would no longer give Manny Pacquiao a hero’s welcome when he returns from his fight with Jorge Solis next month. The story, as it turned out, was sourced from ABS-CBN .
Acharon denied the story attributed to him, sent his security officer to summon the ABS-CBN station manager to have her reporter Beverly Annie Santos retract her story and apologize on the air. Annie DID!
I believe Acharon made a statement. If there was some error or afterthought on his part, or if there was a mistake in the reporting, these could have been corrected in the subsequent news report. The demand for a retraction and apology on the air was oppressive. Should General Santos City media bow to this unnecessary display of power?
The bigger issue, however, is: Should Pacquiao be accorded a hero’s welcome? Media should make their stand clear on that and stand by it.
He is now a politician, not just a boxing champion. Giving a boxcing champion a hero’s welcome, as pride of the city, may be proper. But giving that to a politician during the election season is campaigning for him as a candidate for the first district of South Cotabato. Will Mayor Acharon use government money for that — and at the same time campaign against his own candidate?
Media should also make its stand clear on this: Should Pacquiao be honored as a hero? Is he a hero?
I don’t believe it even if it is President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo who has proclaimed him as such? What has he done to deserve the accolade fit for a hero? A professsional boxer makes good in the US, earns millions of dollars there, and back home earns millions — of even billions — of pesos in commercial endorsements — ALL FOR HIMSELF primarily. Is that the mark of a Filipino hero?
What do you all say? MEDIA must ride with the waves but stay clear of the flotsam and scum”. -Patricio P. Diaz
My Take: I agree with Sir Pat. Now it also makes me think about political leaders’ intentions when they insist on giving heroes welcome for boxing champs [when they don’t intend to run for office yet] or beauty queens. Though I think “Peoples Champion” Pacquiao gets the honor that goes with a “hero” brand because he is a hero to politicians who are in drought of inspiring feats in their duties.
I really want to know the explanation from ABS-CBN. What would fellow looper Annie Gacayan say about this.