MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/17 March) – For writing column articles unfavorable to impeached Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato C. Corona, some readers think I am acting as a PR boy of Malacanang. I could not help but be amused by this simplistic notion that I have been writing on the impeachment trial on the basis of personal loyalty to one of the parties involved.
A reader who calls himself Don Supremo said I am doing a “journalistic black-bag job” and called MindaNews the “South Side of the Philippine Daily Inquirer.” That made me curious since I haven’t really been reading the PDI after resigning as a correspondent of that paper in May 2001 to co-found this self-help media organization.
This afternoon I broke tradition by “Googling” PDI’s website for articles on the impeachment trial, and noticed the omnipresence of comments in defense of Corona. Common in those comments is the argument that reduces the impeachment into simply a demolition job hatched by the President and his allies in Congress.
By the manner with which those comments were written, I was tempted to conclude that somebody with a huge stake in Corona’s fate has organized a media Storm Troopers unit whose job is to monitor and comment on any and all articles related to the impeachment. Such observation is not without basis, as former justice Serafin Cuevas would put it, based on the tenor of the language, line of argument and the apparent attempts to discredit the writer and/or the paper.
I don’t care how readers react to my articles or if they choose to use fictitious names in expressing bold views and maligning my integrity as a writer by insinuating that I am a paid hack of Malacanang. So easy to feign courage if one is anonymous. But what is basically wrong with labeling is that it deviates from the real issues being heard by the Senate, sitting as an impeachment court.
I also don’t care if comments that are completely irrelevant to the impeachment find their way into this website. Here’s a sample from reader “Arrancar” which I’m quoting in all its unedited glory:
“the photo-op of B.s aquino is another who they think we are fools and stupid to believe this B.s aquino is working when it is obvious is just a fake and acted photo-op!! mr. mordeno this country has been beset of so many problems both in the rising of fuels and commodities were many people are suffering because of the inaction of the B.s aquino. maybe this newspaper is another diehard followers of the yellow brigade like the newspaper philippine daily inquirer (PDI) so what can you say mr. mordeno the photo-op of B.s. aquino reading some papers as if workaholic president??”
MindaNews’ photo gallery does not show the picture mentioned by “Arrancar”. So he or she better ask PDI or other papers about it.
Here’s more from “Arrancar”, again quoted here verbatim : “i don’t know if mr. mordeno is a partial or impartial person the defense hasn’t finish their side of showing their evidences against the articles of impeachment the prosecution panel had accused corona on the no. 2,3 and 7 so why are you mr. mordeno is so itchy and can’t wait for the defense to finish their side when you were able to hear from the bumbling and almost laughable and witless the prosecution team had shown their unpreparedness and laughing stock set of fools team. can’t you impartial since your a journalist when you must be unbiased to either of them.”
If the prosecutors were being witless, the defense team need not present evidence for Corona. And I see nothing wrong in presenting my views on each piece of evidence that was and will be presented at every stage of the trial. The prosecution does it. The defense does it. The senator-judges do it. Why should journalists be denied the same right and privilege?
May I also quote a comment from “Romie”:
“i know this is a free country and you can say whatever you want, although it is very obvious that you are biased against Corona. Give the defense the chance to prove CJ’s innocence…remember the respondent is presumed innocent until proven guilty…i am afraid you may have to eat your own words:) if CJ is found not guilty…”
Sorry to disappoint you, “Romie”. Regardless of the eventual decision of the impeachment court, I am not the kind of person who acts and speaks based on what is convenient at the moment. Maybe you are referring to somebody who signed a manifesto against the midnight appointment of Corona as chief justice but became one of his spokespersons. (MindaViews is the opinion section of MindaNews. H. Marcos C. Mordeno can be reached at email@example.com)