ABS-CBN apologizes to UPLB students over erroneous Binay stories
Media network ABS-CBN News on Saturday afternoon apologized to students of the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) after its student council demanded it to make up for an erroneous report on Vice President Jejomar Binay’s appearance in the Laguna campus and made the hashtag #ABSCBNSaySorryTOUPLB trend on social networking site Twitter.
“ABS-CBN News expresses its sincerest apologies to the students of UP Los Baños for the errors committed by ABS-CBNnews.com in 2 articles about the forum of UP Los Baños students with Vice President Jejomar Binay last September 15,” the network said in a statement.
ABS-CBN clarified that one of its writers misheard the word “sample” as “trapo” or traditional politicians, a negative term describing people in government or running for government.
“We immediately corrected this right after we were alerted about the mistake on September 16, 2015,” the network said. “We will be taking disciplinary steps against those responsible for this oversight.”
“Please note that there were other articles uploaded on our website about the event, including these below, in the hope of providing other perspectives about the forum,” it added.
On Saturday morning, the UPLB student council issued an open letter to ABS-CBN via Twitter.
— UP Los Baños USC (@UPLBUSC) September 18, 2015
It denied that students heckled Binay even before he started his speech during a forum held in the campus last September 15.
Binay was reportedly caught offguard by some of the questions asked by the students. Excerpts from the question and answer segment have since been circulating online.
In one exchange, Binay said there were no more informal settlers in Makati. The student asked him again, saying he himself has seen shanties in Makati, to which the Vice President responded, “Ituro mo sa akin nasaan.” He then said that informal settlers are just around three to five percent in Makati.
In the student council’s letter, they enumerated the alleged mistakes made by ABS-CBN.
Besides the misheard word, it pointed out that one of the articles posted on ABS-CBN News’ website was titled “VP Binay felt disrespected at UPLB forum.” However, it was later changed to “VP Binay: I enjoyed UPLB forum.”
“The students were not chanting ‘trapo’ as what ABS-CBN purportedly heard, but ‘Sample!’ before VP Binay started his speech,” the student council said. “There was an intermission number by some faculty members of DSS (Department of Social Sciences) before VP Binay’s speech, thus the chanting.”
The student council accused ABS-CBN of “unethical journalism,” which has “inflicted a negative perception on UPLB students, with misinformed netizens and readers treating and tagging UPLB students as ‘unmannered,’ and of ‘low breeding.’”
“It is insulting and is unacceptable for the part of the Iskolar ng Bayan to be wrongly portrayed by ABS-CBN’s recently published articles,” it said.
In addition to the council’s demand for ABS-CBN to issue a public apology, it added the hashtag #ABSCBNSaySorrytoUPLB, which has recorded 20,700 tweets as of 4 p.m. on Saturday. Kristine Angeli Sabillo/IDL
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