Journos won’t lie for you! FOCAP disses Cayetano for sweeping bribery charges with libel threats but no evidence
Don’t intimidate us.
This was the stern message of the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines to a beleaguered Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano’s claim that media was paid to churn out adverse reports on him and his his private foundation Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC) for their woeful handling of the SEA Games.
“We specially take exception to insinuations by (Cayetano), who serves as the organizing committee chairman, that there may have been attempts to bribe the media to malign the Philippines’ hosting of the Southeast Asian Games. Such sweeping accusations, without a shred of evidence and laced with threats of libel suits, are totally unacceptable and tend to intimidate journalists from reporting irregularities objectively,” FOCAP said in a statement.
Cayetano claimed that media firms were paid handsomely to bring demolish him with a barrage of adverse news on the SEA Games that he claimed were 95 percent “fake news.”
“It was only four or five websites na nagtapon ng mga fake news paulit-ulit. So anong tawag mo do’n? Even ilan sa mga media, umamin na sa amin na may umaagos na pera para siraan ‘yung SEA Games,” said Cayetano.
FOCAP denounced Cayetano and other PHISGOC members for blaming the media partly for the flurry of negative reports on logistical issues that were raised publicly by Philippine and Southeast Asian athletes and officials themselves.
“Independent journalists report problems and issues imbued with public interest as they happen and become evident and do not delay the time to press for accountability,” said FOCAP.
“Calls by the organizers for the media to report only the good news betray our bedrock mandate of providing the public with truthful information that is at the heart of the basic freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution,” it added.