Aquino warns against 'Yolanda-like' speculation on 'Ruby' | Inquirer News
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Aquino warns against ‘Yolanda-like’ speculation on ‘Ruby’

/ 01:23 PM December 05, 2014
Benigno Aquino III

President Benigno Aquino III. AP FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines–President Benigno Aquino III on Friday reminded media practitioners of the perils of “speculation” or erroneous reports especially on typhoon “Ruby” (international name: Hagupit), which has been described as “Yolanda-like.”

“On Wednesday, one of our major dailies headlined Ruby as ‘Yolanda-like,’” Aquino said at the Bulong Pulungan Christmas Party in Pasay City. “We all know that the paper had to be printed on Tuesday, and thus the information that the report was based must have come from Tuesday’s  information.”

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Aquino said he had to confirm the information with Science and Technology Secretary Mario Montejo.

“Up until yesterday at the NDRRMC (National Disaster Risk Reduction & Management Council) briefing, there was no indication or official analysis predicting that Ruby would be Yolanda-like in strength. At best, if Ruby struck, its strength would be more comparable to ‘Pablo’,” he added.

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The President did not mention the name of the publication although it was the Philippine Daily Inquirer that published the article “’Yolanda’-like ‘Ruby’ heads for PH” on its front page on December 3.

Aquino said the reports he has been receiving estimate Ruby’s strength at about 140 kilometers per hour.

“Let us remember that now that Yolanda’s maximum winds based on some reports were pegged at about 300 kph,” he said.

“One has to ask: What was the basis of such speculation, and don’t we all agree that in reporting, we must always get the facts right, the angle right, and the news right, if we are to truly inform our people?” he added.

Supertyphoon “Yolanda,” (international name: Haiyan), which struck the Philippines in November 8, 2013, was the strongest storm of the year. It left more than 6,000 people dead and thousands more missing.

However, a separate report by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) in Hawaii has categorized Ruby as a supertyphoon. It said that Ruby was headed toward the Philippines with maximum sustained winds of 287 kilometers per hour and gusts of 351 kph.

Aquino said it was unfortunate that while everyone was hoping for a quiet Christmas, the country has to brace for Ruby.

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“The recent days in anticipation of this typhoon have been filled with varying opinions and reports from our friends in the industry, and being with you brings to my mind the vastness of media’s capacity to shape discourse, agenda, and the priorities of both government and society,” he said.

He advised the media, the government and its partners to do their “utmost” and “leave nothing to chance.”

“Today, it is my hope that from your pens will come the responsible, sober writing that will help foster the confidence we need as we weather this challenge again as a people,” he told the journalists present.

RELATED STORIES

Yolanda’-like ‘Ruby’ heads for PH

Ruby’ packs peak winds of 350 kph

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TAGS: Benigno Aquino III, Hagupit, Media, report, Ruby, Typhoon, Weather, Yolanda, Yolanda-like
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