Defense Press Corps rejects AFP official’s ‘media bias’ claim
MANILA, Philippines — The Defense Press Corps, the press organization whose members cover the Department of National Defense and Armed Forces of the Philippines, has dismissed the claims of a two-star general on supposed ‘media bias’ and collusion with communists.
The DPC was responding to a statement of Maj. Gen. Antonio Parlade, deputy chief of staff for civil military operations, who accused reporters of bias after the AFP’s response to the Supreme Court’s writ of amparo and habeas data to the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers, one of the issues discussed during Monday’s press briefing, did not make it to the news.
“These media are allowing their government to be punched and bullied without giving it an opportunity to air its side, or more appropriately, to express the truth… So now we have a biased media who doesn’t want to expose the truth about these front organizations of the CPP (Communist Party of the Philippines),” Parlade said in a statement on Tuesday, which was originally meant for news desks.
The “letter to the editor” made rounds on Facebook the following day, as shared by retired and active military personnel and other pages.
“While MGen Parlade did the right thing by drafting a letter and airing his concern to the editors of our media outfits, what we question is his intention in spreading his letter in social media.” the DPC said.
The journalists who were present at AFP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo’s press briefing did not pick up his statements on the SC decision because it merely repeated the AFP’s previous statement released three days before.
Inquirer.net reported the AFP’s comments a few hours after it was released on Friday last week.
Other print and radio outfits reported the story over the weekend.
“It is apparent no DPC member carried BGen. Arevalo’s Monday statement because it was, to put it bluntly, a rehash of a written statement he issued three days earlier,” the DPC said in a statement Thursday.
“BGen. Arevalo’s statement on Friday last week saw print the following day, uploaded online, and earned airtime because it was given in a timely manner so there was no need to write or broadcast the same points raised by BGen Arevalo three days later,” it added.
The DPC said it was outright unfair to be accused of being biased and colluding with the left, just because they did not publish the statements that were “old and rehashed.”
It also found it unfortunate that Parlade, who is supposed to be the link between the military and the ordinary people being the military’s top civil military operations officer, is shooting the messenger and accusing DPC members of transgression on its core values. /gsg
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