news, Philippines, politics, television

Leila de Lima’s Announcement and Subsequent TV Coverage

It only took around 45 minutes, but Department of Justice secretary Leila de Lima swiftly announced the filing of plunder, malversation of public funds, bribery, and graft and corruption charges against Pork Barrel mastermind Janet Napoles, senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada and Bong Revilla, and 34 others. Seconds after the charges were filed, media reporters rush in to grab documents of the said cases.

Even before the announcement was made, Senator Enrile had been rushed to the hospital after complaining of difficulty in urinating. It was also reported that once the charges against him were announced, he immediately proclaimed his innocence. Let’s face it, Enrile is an ailing 89-year old man, and accusing him of plunder at his advanced age is not what I want to see. The accusations against him would only hasten his already failing health, and may lead to his eventual death.

Senator Estrada had been accused of plunder before, when he and his father, former President and Manila mayor Joseph Estrada, were both charged relating to the Jose Velarde scandal twelve years earlier. Senator Revilla had also been involved in prior legal cases, both during his acting and ongoing political career. While both denied the accusations, Senator Estrada has said he is prepared to face the charges, while Senator Revilla said that the people should not judge him and his co-accusers this early in their ordeal.

In terms of television coverage, all of the major networks aired the live press conference of de Lima’s announcement. While GMA News TV, DZMM Teleradyo and the ABS-CBN News Channel were able to carry the live press conference, TV5 was forced to carry the announcement as sister station AksyonTV carried the live NCAA games. TV5’s live coverage of the announcement affected their programming; their ‘Sine Ko Singko’ program was delayed for several minutes, while another rerun of ‘Face to Face’ significantly cut the airtime allotted for the public service program ‘T3: Reload’. The Tulfo brothers’ program was reduced to 10 minutes rather than the standard 30, and time constraints prevented any complainants from voicing some of their complaints on national TV. If I were News5 head Luchi Cruz-Valdes, I would tell TV5 president Noel Lorenzana to stop airing reruns of ‘Face to Face’ and instead replace it with any of News5’s public affairs programs, or the live simulcast of Radyo5 92.3 News FM‘s ‘Cristy FerMinute’, because it is becoming too annoying.

Meanwhile, the trial for the plunder case against Napoles and 37 other co-conspirators will be announced soon, and is expected to be carried live by all of the major networks.

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comedy, entertainment, humor, news, Philippines, politics, television

Pork Barrel References on ‘Ang Bagong Dating Doon’

Pork Barrel and Janet Napoles remain the hot topic of conversation this past week. And even the GMA gag show ‘Bubble Gang‘ took aim at the issue.

During last Friday’s segment of ‘Ang Bagong Dating Doon’, there were two questions that jokingly reference the word ‘whistleblower’ and ‘Pork Barrel’. But before they tackled the issue, a viewer submitted the question regarding the originality of the GMA teleserye ‘My Husband’s Lover’. Brod Pete (Isko Salvador) then answered that it was not an original series, but rather it was inspired from the 1960s pop group Peter, Paul and Mary, which he claimed that Mary was the offspring of married gay couple Peter and Paul. In reality, Peter, Paul and Mary were a folk group comprising of Peter Yarrow, Paul Stookey and Mary Travers, and contrary to Brod Pete’s claim, Mary was about the same age as Peter and Paul, and gay marriage was illegal at the time.

The first reference of the Pork Barrel scam came when Mikael Daez asked a question: ‘May nasusulat po ba tungkol sa ‘whistleblower’?’ (Is there a written reference regarding the word ‘whistleblower’?) Brod Pete then gave reference to the Simon & Garfunkel song ‘The Boxer’, which Brother Willy (Caesar Cosme) then mentioned the chorus ‘lie la lie’, which he then changed to ‘luy la luy’ in reference to another Pork Barrel whistleblower Benhur Luy.

Brod Pete then answered a viewer’s question regarding words that he claims were not used correctly. This time he tackled the contents of a bio-data, during which he disagreed with the listing ‘sex’ and instead corrected it with the word ‘gender’ in the description, and then disagreeing with the description ‘salary desired’ in the bio-data. He then claimed that ‘doorbell’ is not the correct terminology, thinking that it is placed near the gates of the house, then ‘doorbell’ is not the right word, but rather ‘gatebell’. He also mentioned text lingo in the segment, thinking that it is inappropriate.

The next question was asked by Antonio Aquitania: ‘May nasusulat po ba tungkol sa ‘Pork Barrel’?’ (Is there a written reference regarding the word ‘Pork Barrel’?) Both Brod Pete and Brother Willy then referenced the song ‘Beer Barrel Polka‘, which they changed the chorus to ‘Roll Out the Barrel of Funds’ and linking it to the Million People March that occurred at the Quirino Grandstand two weeks ago.

Another ‘Bubble Gang’ segment with political references was ‘Sec. de Anim’, a joking reference to Department of Justice secretary Leila de Lima. The highlight of the segment was when the reporters (Paolo Contis, Chariz Solomon) asked questions about possible bills named after GMA teleseryes such as ‘My Husband’s Lover’, ‘Mundo Mo’y Akin’ and ‘Mga Basang Sisiw’. However, the highlight of a politically-charged episode of ‘Bubble Gang’ was the ‘Ang Bagong Dating Doon’ segment which referenced Pork Barrel and its related terms.

The entire ‘Ang Bagong Dating Doon’ segment can be viewed below.

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humor, news, Philippines, politics, public affairs

More Napoles News and Jokes

The week in news is all about the Pork Barrel, and its whistleblower Janet Napoles. Monday witnessed the Million People March at the Quirino Grandstand, then Wednesday night saw the voluntary surrender of Napoles at Malacanang. The narrative did not end there, however.

On Friday night the court finally approved the transfer of Janet Napoles from the Makati City Jail to the Fort Sto. Domingo facility in Sta. Rosa, Laguna. It was the same complex that housed former president and Manila mayor Joseph Estrada during his plunder case a decade ago. The court approved the move citing security concerns within the Makati City Jail.

Throughout the week all major television networks extensively the issue of Pork Barrel and the surrender of Janet Napoles. Some segments took exception to the issue by presenting it in a light-hearted manner. On the TV5 program T3: Reload, the Tulfo brothers Ben, Erwin and Raffy decided to make fun of the issue with the use of social media, presenting memes and pick-up lines relating to Janet Napoles and the Pork Barrel scam. Then on the ‘Word of the Lourd’ segment by Lourd de Veyra, he presented a photo of Napoles and asked several people to identify the subject, with one mistakenly identifying the subject as the Korean rapper Psy.

Despite the serious nature of the issue, people still found a way to lighten up the mood of the nation by presenting them in a humorous manner. That ability to construct humor amidst the negativity of the situation enabled the Philippines to rank among the top 10 in the happiest countries poll last year. And that humor overcomes all the poverty and hardship that the country experiences these days.

Meanwhile, more news about Janet Napoles’s transfer will be reported over the next few days, so stay tuned.

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music, news, Philippines, politics, songs

In 100 Words: Gusto Ko Ng Baboy

Twelve years ago, reggae/rock band Radioactive Sago Project released a single called ‘Gusto Ko Ng Baboy’ (I Want Pigs). The song was described as a protest against greed and corruption, hence the emphasis on the word ‘baboy’ throughout the song as a way to depict power-hungry and avaricious officials.

These days, frontman Lourd de Veyra is a host and news anchor at TV5. Perhaps he should have reunited Radioactive Sago Project and perform during the Million People March as a way to drum up national interest. Still, even with the band not performing, ‘Gusto Ko Ng Baboy’ should be appropriate for the ongoing national situation, one embroiled with the arrest of Janet Napoles and the recent abolition of the Pork Barrel.

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news, Philippines, politics, radio, television

Napoles Surrenders, and Media Takes Notice

If you were watching late night news yesterday, you were informed about this very important news that Janet Napoles, the Pork Barrel whistleblower, has voluntarily surrendered to the authorities. Leading up to the surrender, all of Napoles’ accounts were frozen to the point she cannot afford any food and gas for herself, her passports were cancelled, and then President Noynoy Aquino offered a P10M reward for her arrest. But instead of getting captured, Napoles decided to submit herself.

As early as 11:00 p.m., GMA’sSaksi‘ and ABS-CBN’sBandila‘ officially reported the news of the surrender, while TV5’s ‘Pilipinas News‘ followed suit. The coverage continued into early Thursday morning, with all of the morning shows on television and radio providing additional coverage of the Napoles surrender. Elsewhere, social media netizens who remain awake before midnight gave their own views and opinions of the surrender, with several terms related to Napoles and Pork Barrel trending on Twitter.

Print and online media were also active during the late hours of August 28. Front pages of today’s editions of The Philippine Star, Philippine Daily Inquirer, and the Manila Bulletin focused on Napoles’s surrender, while online news sites such as Rappler, InterAksyon, ABS-CBN News Online and GMA News Online also emphasized on the said news.

Many who criticize the Pork Barrel saw this news as a partial victory. But stay tuned for more news regarding the surrender and other related events, through all media outlets.

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