Ex-ABS-CBN news anchor: We were never instructed to play favorites
MANILA, Philippines — As discussions on ABS-CBN’s alleged “political bias” continue at the House of Representatives, a former news anchor of the network said she and her co-workers were never instructed to play favorites nor slant stories in favor or against a person.
During the joint hearing of the House committee on legislative franchises and committee on good government and public accountability on the ABS-CBN’s bid for a 25-year franchise, former news anchor Kata Inocencio said that she was among “the millions of Filipinos” who was saddened by the cease and desist order issued by the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) in May that stopped the broadcast operations of the network.
“This much I know for certain that in the 15 years that I have served in ABS-CBN news in various capacities as Malacanan reporter, House correspondent, desk editor, news anchor, and producer, we—and I speak for the news division—have never been instructed to play favorites nor to slant stories in favor or against anyone nor to play partisan politics,” Inocencio said before the joint committees tackling the alleged political bias of ABS-CBN, one of the issues lodged against the network in its bid for a new franchise.
“We exercised our duty as broadcast journalists based on the ethical standards and responsibilities expected of a professional journalist who has sworn to tell the truth and nothing but the truth, to remain impartial, to air both and all sides as much as possible and as available, and to be fair and balanced I our reporting,” she added.
Inocencio also defended ABS-CBN Head of Integrated News and Current Affairs Ging Reyes, saying that the latter is a “woman of integrity who practices the ethical standards of a broadcast journalist.”
“She will never take wrongdoing sitting down and will always express her strong opinion on what she believes in even if this may oppose the general sentiment of management,” Inocencio said.
“And I believe that because of this, she has the management’s trust and confidence apart from her tested abilities as a journalist and a broadcast producer,” she added.
In the same hearing, Reyes said that ABS-CBN News strives “to keep biases in check, and to report on newsworthy events, persons and issues in an accurate, fair and balanced manner.”
ABS-CBN’s alleged political bias is only one of the issues hounding ABS-CBN in its bid for a 25-year franchise.
The joint House panels have previously tackled other issues such as the citizenship of the network’s chair emeritus Gabby Lopez, the Lopez family’s reclamation of the network after the EDSA Revolution, the alleged labor violations of the network, and tax-related issues, among others.
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