Marilag Ang Malaya

Monday, May 7, 2012

Airport tussle with Public Figures

Columnist Ramon Tulfo figured in a fight against a gang led by showbiz couple Raymart Santiago and Claudine Barretto at the NAIA Terminal 3 yesterday. Several news reports point to the said altercation can be found online with the social networks were spewing vitrioil against both camps.

I'll try not to touch on the irrelevant facts of the case, as you can learn about them on the news reports, but I'd like to express my vehement opinion against the couple. I believe that Tulfo was merely doing his job as a journalist in recording Claudine's tirade against the Cebu Pacific. Whether Tulfo was on his vacation or not, a journalists job begins when something interesting is happenning. Something interesting turned out to be newsworthy indeed!

I don't believe Santiagos were right on ganging up on the man. Firstly, their defense about privacy doesn't hold any water. They are public figures, they are in a public place, and there were other people involved, in this case, employees of the public transport company. In other words, they were pretty much fair game at that time. Now, if they had really wanted privacy, they should have chartered a private plane.

Secondly, the man is old and alone. There were six or so young people in Raymart's group. You can almost see the social injustice of it all. When the tussle started, the guards restrained the old man, and nobody restrained the young people. (Damned useless guards. On the video, you can see one guard who was just standing.)

The news as of this writing is that both camps are filing charges against each other. But all these could have been avoided if we learned that journalists are essential to us as a society. Please, don't shoot the messenger, especially the journalists. Sila po ang nagrereport ng mga makabuluhan na balita. Otherwise, we'll all be reading blind items. Kahit nga mga showbiz reporters, hindi ginagalang ng mga nasa showbiz. Kaya rin siguro, ganun na lang ang trato ng mag-asawa kay Mon Tulfo. I'd like to not compare this incident with the Maguindanao Massacre, but if you analyze the root of it all, isa lang kasi makikita mo: that some parties don't want the truth to come out. There is a sub-culture among the rich and famous to cover up the truth, or to twist it if it does not suit their agenda. This is a culture that we, ordinary Filipinos, should not tolerate. The press is not to be oppressed. Stop the violence against journalists and bloggers NOW.

Nota Bene: Some people have noted that Mon Tulfo is an asshole. A word of advice to the naive: it's not illegal to be an asshole, both on or off the Internet, but it's illegal to throw punches and false statements.


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