Bayan hits ‘TV Patrol’ over report on allegedly scripted anti-Apec rally
Militant group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) slammed “TV Patrol,” ABS-CBN’s flagship newscast, over a Nov. 24 report about the anti-Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) protests, which supposedly insinuated that the mass actions were “scripted” and “just show for the media.”
Bayan chairperson Carol Araullo said a report by ABS-CBN’s Chiara Zambrano featured a video clip of an exchange between a policeman and a protester: “Tulakan lang tayo ha, tulakan,” the police said. “Oo tulakan lang. Media lang ito. Media projection lang kaya huwag kang aano,” the protester replied.
“One could dismiss the exchange as just that, two individual protagonists at the rally apparently trying to avoid getting into a serious exchange of blows. In fact, the news report shows demonstrators at the height of the confrontation still trying to explain to the police what they are protesting about.
“Unfortunately, the news report goes on to conclude, by way of quotes from netizen reactions to Zambrano’s FB post of the video clip, and a reaction from PNP Superintendent Wilbur Mayor, that the protests are ‘scripted’ and ‘just for show and media,’” Araullo said in a statement posted on Facebook.
“To cap the report, the reporter says she tried to get the ‘side of BAYAN’ (overall organizer of the anti-Apec protests) to explain how important is the role of media coverage in the protests it organizes but that Bayan declined to comment,” he added.
But Araullo said Bayan did not comment because “by no stretch of imagination can it be construed”
that the unidentified protester represents the entire group’s position.
“As to what importance Bayan gives to media coverage of protests, this is actually a no brainer. Bayan tries as much as possible to get the dominant mass media to cover its protest actions for the plain reason that it wants its message to reach more people,” he said.
Highlighting the struggle in getting near to the venue of the Apec summit, Araullo noted how the protesters had to hurdle barricades and “play cat-and-mouse” with the cops just to make a political statement and air their grievances.
“The ABS-CBN report of Zambrano is a disservice to the thousands who joined the anti-Apec protests. It reduced their opposition to neoliberal globalization policies because of the harm and suffering these bring upon the people to a violent confrontation with the police that, as the report insinuates, is ‘scripted’ for the media,” Araullo added.
Thousands of activists clashed with police forces last week in an attempt to march to the Philippine International Convention Center, site of the Apec meetings, but the cops blocked them using truncheons, shields, and water cannon. TVJ
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