FASTLANES: Press Freedom and Body Parts. By BenCyrus G. Ellorin

Unlike other cases of violence against the media in this beloved but godforsaken country of ours, in no time there have been suspects and cases filed in court.

Then the ugly head of illegal gambling called tolelong or video karera has finally surfaced. And it is confirmed, it indeed is UGLY. In my barangay, video karera havens are just a stone’s throw away from the police precinct.

My journalist friend who identifies himself as Jose Galario (not the one who closes radio stations critical of him in Bukidnon) in Facebook poked me to reveal that something is amiss in the Cagayan de Oro Press Club because of lechon and 50,000 pesos. Nope, the 50,000 pesos is not lost to some people’s personal pocket and nobody had alta presyon eating lechon in that building near the capitol fronting RMN’s DXCC.

Some members of the COPC, I was told, wanted to puke posthaste after eating lechon but felt betrayed because as one of our own lost one of his kidneys and holding on to dear life allegedly due to his stinging exposes and commentaries against video karera, some members of the fourth estate had the gall to solicit funds from known illegal gambling financiers. God forbid you will not develop gall stones.

Then as they say the plot thickens, a self-confessed video karera collector dropped the bombshell, alleging Nilo and other reporters from RMN’s DXCC to be on the take from video karera financiers. The alleged gunman, personally identified by Nilo, also turned himself in to “clear” his name. The City Prosecutor’s Office filed frustrated murder charges.

The City Mayor is ranting against illegal gambling like video karera and police implications in high profile crimes like the Martinez murder case, as if he is helpless in putting these goons in police uniforms in Lumbia. And the vice mayor dressing down the suspect… hahay! On second thought, there may be no “as if,” the mayor is actually helpless in making peace and order in the city. Luoy Kagay-anon. Hahay agen.

COPC Prexy ordered streamers demanding for justice for Nilo removed from the COPC building. His official reason as quoted in news reports — that the streamers are already passé as cases have been filed against the suspects. Wow…

Incredulous it is.

That move by newly elected COPC Prexy Vincent Jaudian may be construed or rightly misconstrued as leaving Nilo in mid-air. Walang ganyanan!

Clean up our ranks we must. Open the pandora’s box. Let the hatchet fall where it must. Nobody’s clean, even Ceasar’s wife,
and as Christian teaching teaches “repentance fortifies faith.”

Perceived to be good or bad, an attack on any member of the fourth estate is an attack on the foundation of civilized society and democracy. 

Now is the time to strengthen the media ranks. Let us pursue justice like a vampire deprived of blood for centuries.

Till then, I miss Babayeng Bagul in the air. Get well soon bai!

(MindaViews is the opinion section of MindaNews. The writer is a community organizer, and environment and sustainable development advocate based in Cagayan de Oro. Comments can be sent to [email protected])

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