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DSWD chief slams Inquirer reports on bunkhouses, aid system

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10:37 PM March 15th, 2013

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March 15th, 2013 10:37 PM

Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman on Friday decried what she said was a series of unfair attacks by the Inquirer against the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

Soliman went to the Inquirer office in Makati for a dialogue with the editors and to correct what she said were “inaccuracies” in reports about alleged overpriced bunkhouses and uneven distribution of aid.

Soliman said a chronology of events would show a deliberate escalation of attacks against the DSWD following the Jan. 15 protest by survivors of Typhoon “Pablo” that led to a roadblock and a food raid on the DSWD compound in Davao City.

“We don’t mind being criticized. It’s just that we thought you are for balanced news and responsible reporting,” she said.

She said DSWD personnel in charge of the distribution of relief goods in Mindanao skipped Christmas and holidays with their families last year just to do their jobs.

“These people (DSWD field personnel) are people who have been dealing with poor people, not with the press,” she said.

Soliman also said assailed the use of identified sources in many of the stories attacking the DSWD.

According to Soliman, the chronology of events that her staff has prepared showed an “orchestrated and hate-driven effort” of a group of individuals like disgruntled former workers and insiders.

She said there was a “twisted personal mission” to discredit the DSWD and its consultants.

She also questioned the methods by which sources are being interviewed, raising questions about ethical practices in journalism.

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