The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) lambasted Communications Secretary Sonny Coloma for saying media was behind the plummeting popularity of President Benigno Aquino III.
In a statement released Thursday, NUJP noted that by saying that Aquino rating was “media related, the Palace might as well have said media instigated the disastrous operation in Mamasapano and then attempted to cover it all up with a badly contrived, constantly changing and increasingly worse web of lies.”
A Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey showed that the satisfaction rating of Aquino has dropped. Coloma in an interview with GMA News TV, Coloma said the drop was “media-related.”
“Ang mga ratings ay naka-ugnay sa mga headlines at sa mga nilalathala sa media na binabasa at inuunawa ng ating mga mamamayan. Kaya sa aming paningin ito ay media related sa malaking bahagi,” Coloma said.
Coloma also said that the Aquino administration is “hoping that through disseminating correct and truthful information, Filipinos can thoroughly understand the position of the government.”
NUJP said: “Sonny Coloma’s pathetic attempt to foist his Boss’s worst blunder on the administration’s favorite whipping boy is like a child who, caught with his hand in the cookie jar, screams: “Look what you made me do.”
“We ask: But who, pray, Mr. Coloma, has refused and continues to refuse to disseminate correct and truthful information?” the group said. “How many times has the President addressed the nation, each time with a different version of his “truth”? And did we not, as is our obligation, truthfully and accurately report on and even disseminate in full the ever changing landscape of his Mamasapano narratives?”
NUJP reminded Coloma of the function of the media.
“Yes, Mr. Coloma, in case you missed the memo, there is a reason the media are called the Fourth Estate – checks and balances – an essential ingredient for democracy. And no, while you may wish it so, we exist not to sing your praises when you do well but to help watch that you are faithful to your sworn duties and to report and even chastise you when you fail to do so.”