A petition online was created demanding Philippine giant networks ABS-CBN and GMA Network to acknowledge and issue a public apology for what largely perceived as their negligence and mishandling of the live coverage of critical scenes at the most crucial times of the hostage incident. Following is the full text of the petition (readers can sign the petition at http://www.petitiononline.com/absgma10/:
This is a cry for a public apology from ABS-CBN and GMA.
As an advocate of freedom, I admire our journalists for their dedication, commitment, and bravery, most of them have served the country well, and a continuing number of them died performing their esteemed profession. But such should not excuse them from mistakes committed by their colleagues and bosses, after all, they are mortals too, they make big mistakes like great women and men here and elsewhere.
In last Monday’s carnage and chaos. This document believes that media, in particular the organizations behind GMA’s Saksi and ABS-CBN’s TV Patrol erred and committed negligence during it’s coverage, by airing at the most crucial time, the LIVE sensitive, and critical scenes, particularly the arrest of the gunman’s brother, watching it might have pushed the gunman to start the tragic killing of the hostages as news reports indicated. We do not ask apology from the reporters in the field, they’re just doing their jobs, we demand apology from the the top management down to the news editors/managers on the ground and in the studio that have the controls over which to air live.
The DILG and the Police, organizations that have the over-all responsibility over the incident, already admitted that their operations were flawed, and their top officers have expressed their remorse, and apology.
As of this writing we have yet to detect any signal from GMA and ABS-CBN that an apology is to be made. What’s keeping them? Are they afraid of the legal ramification?
We say that our call is a challenge, a test of character of the management and people behind these networks, a public apology is in order if they truly treat us as “kapamilya” at “kapuso.” Legal issues should not scare them if they believed the actions of their editors/managers were correct, they have a battery of expensive lawyers to take care of their court-battle and defend their truths if necessary and add to their arsenal a free media PR too.
Trusting that whether through this document or any other medium like their conscience, the owners/top management, editors/managers would not claim infallibility under the cloak of press freedom (if such doctrine exists), that they will not make themselves akin to the untouchable TRAPOs and power abusers we detest by ignoring the public rage, that they will acknowledge and admit that they made a mistake, and that they will express in public their remorse and apology.
This is a free country, sign if you share this cry.